Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1748 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

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

Showing comments 1748 - 1701

  • Wichita teacher sues Kansas for denying her work because she boycotts Israel
    • That law covers Israel and all occupied territory, so any refusal to buy settlement products on the grounds that those settlements are, [in the opinion of the US government as stated by John Kerry late last year] illigitimate is a good reason not to buy. Also as the International Court of Justice found [in its opinion] by a 15 Judges to 0, including the US Judge Blumenthal] that the settlements, all of them, are in breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions Article 49 paragraph 6. Described as grave war crime. Anyone opposing these war crimes by refusing to buy settlement products, will be severely punished by the state of Kansas. This legislation is unbelievable and will surely be overturned.

  • In Ireland, a Palestinian is understood
    • Sorry about the spelling mistakes, no time to proof read, in a rush, on my way out.

    • One of the largest democratic deficits in Northern Ireland is the fact that the political parties that govern the Province Labour, Conservative and LibDem will not challenge the local sectarian parties, all 18 seats are up for grabs, if Corbyn's Labour Party contested those 18 seats Prime Minister T May might not have needed the help of the sectarian DUP to prop up her minority government. On another note, Opinion polls over the years have indicated that at least half the Catholic population do not want a united Ireland.
      A 2011 survey by Northern Ireland Life and Times found that 52% of Northern Irish Catholic respondents favoured union with Great Britain over a united Ireland. This is despite the fact that most Catholics who vote do so for political parties that are Nationalist.
      According to a 2015 opinion poll, 70% expressed a long-term preference of the maintenance of Northern Ireland’s membership of the United Kingdom (either directly ruled or with devolved government), while 14% express a preference for membership of a united Ireland. This discrepancy can be explained by the overwhelming preference among Protestants to remain a part of the UK (93%), while Catholic preferences are spread across a number of solutions to the constitutional question including remaining a part of the UK (47%), a united Ireland (32%), Northern Ireland becoming an independent state (4%), and those who “don’t know” (16%).
      All that is now required is for Jeremy Corbyn to give all the people of Northern Ireland Catholic and Protestant alike the elementary right to vote for the party that aspires to govern them, otherwise 1.8 million people in NI effectively have no vote.

    • The similarity between Israel and Ireland until 1999 is significant, the Israeli government 'claim ' sovereignty over the whole Land of Israel, including the West Bank [they call it Judea and Samaria] similarly the Republic of Ireland claimed sovereignty over the whole Island of Ireland and its territorial waters in their 1937 constitution [articles 2 and 3] The Good Friday Agreement [GRA] between the UK and Irish governments [including SinnFein] recognised that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determunation when the Republic changed its constitution from a 'claim' to an 'aspiration', and that there can be no constitututional change in NI without the majority agreeing to it.
      The result of the Irish referendum in 1999 was 94.39 for change to 5.6% no change. This complemented the 1973 border poll in Northern Ireland which was 98.8% to remain part of the UK to 1.2% for a united Ireland. on a 58% turnout [Sinn Fein told their supporters to boycott the poll]. The GFA could not have happened without the Republic and Sinn Fein recognising the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination. When a majority in NI vote for a united Ireland negotiations between all parties concerned can take place to bring it about in an amicable way. All perfectly democratic with no need for violence.
      The Israeli government do not recognise that the Palestinians have the right of self determination, therein lies the problem, for any peace agreement the Israelis will need to do as the Irish did when they renounced their claim to the whole Island. I suspect the Israelis will double down and try to either transfer the Palestinians or put them in Bantustans, neither will work of course, unfortunately we will have much more bloodshed. Watch Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness pay tribute to Ian Paisley..

  • In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?
    • On Friday the Financial Times reported that Donald Trump is expected to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, as part of a new hardline strategy against the Islamic republic.
      "The Americans should know that the Trump government’s stupid behavior with the nuclear deal will be used by the Islamic Republic as an opportunity to move ahead with its missile, regional and conventional defense program," Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, quoted by Reuters. He then explicitly threatened US presence in the region, warning that “if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles."

  • A plea to Israel: Don't start the third Lebanon War
    • Most of the Israeli population and industry [and economic existance] are within the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area, lets say for arguments sake that area is 100 square miles. It is theoretically possible for Hezbollah to rain 1000 missles per sqaure mile on that area, reducing it to rubble, no doubt Israel could do more damage to its enemies, but is that something Israel wants to learn from experience?

    • "But if you look at the tremendous and growing imbalance of power between the two sides"
      Not so sure about this, Hamas unguided rockets [7,000?] only managed to blow up the desert. One or two succeeded in causing some damage. Hezbollah's arsenal has over 100,000 rockets many supplied by Iran and have the all important guidance systems capable of targeting any site in Israel, including Dimona and Ben Gurion Airport, Nazralla has promised to stop Israeli shipping and can destroy the Israeli gas rigs and storage facilities "The Russian anti-ship Yakhont missile is considered to be the best of its kind in the world. Even the most advanced missile interception systems are unable to effectively intercept and destroy it. Israeli analysts believe that, with Yakhont missiles, Hezbollah could threaten Israeli military and civilian shipping as well as Israeli oil and gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea and even the American Sixth Fleet"
      The reason the US/Israel want the Iran nuclear deal scrapped has nothing to do with the nuclear issue at all, rather Irans growing conventional powers, which they share with Hezbollah and which Israel fears so much. The 'arc of resistance' Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon backed by Russia is indeed growing day by day.

  • Critics of U.S. 'Israel Anti-Boycott Act' say even requests for information could expose citizens to penalties
    • For information. The 1943 Resolution above is quoted in full in Von Glahn, "The occupation of enemy territory" [1957] pp 194-195. It was used in the "Quarries case" a few years ago in the Israeli High Court, that case was brought by Yesh Din [an Israeli human rights group] against the Military Commander of the IDF in control of the occupied territories.

    • This proposed Bill which makes it illegal to Boycott Israeli businesses located in Occupied Palestinian Territory has not taken into consideration International Law and the limits of the occupying Authority whose only mandate is to 'administer' the area, under the rules of usufruct he is not, for instance, allowed to sell immovable property, certainly not natural resources like water or minerals [Ahava].
      The Israeli occupying authority under the Military Commander must act only within the Occupied Palestinian Territories [OPT] according to the narrow parameters of customary International Law. Under The Hague regulations 1907 and the Geneva Conventions 1949, the Occupant is allowed to sell, [under the rules of usufruct the 'fruit' of the property not the 'capital' i.e, he can sell the apple but not the tree, or he can rent a building, but not sell it]. He can (using local labour) administer the area for two reasons only:
      (1) Military needs and/or
      (2) To benefit the local protected population.

      Not the settlers obviously, their illegal presence does not cover the legal definition of protected persons under International Law as defined by Geneva Convention Article 4 (below).
      Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4
      Persons protected by the convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power of which they are not nationals [cited fourth Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4]
      The following agreement is what the US administration signed up to and is still in place..

      In July 1943 an International conference was held in London, its mandate was to upgrade the Hague regulations since they were not specific enough on property transfers, particularly because of the Nazi depredations in much of occupied Europe, these resolutions were put together by the leading jurists of their time and represent the latest and definitive word on the transfer of property rights and interests both within and outside occupied territory The USA, USSR, China and the United Kingdom and Dominions amongst others adopted them, here are the first four resolutions:-

      (1) The rules governing the validity in third countries of the acts of belligerent occupants and of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests of any description whatsoever derived from such acts, are rules of international law the non observation of which entails international responsibility.
      Note: In courts of third States cases may be decided according to a variety of legal considerations, but the result must be in harmony with the rules of international law, the main contents of which are set out below. The Conference has not discussed the conditions under which a third State that does not give effect to the said rules is liable to pay damages to the injured party and/or his State.
      (2) The occupant does not succeed, even provisionally, to the status or rights of the sovereign whom he displaces. The occupant has at most, under international law, only limited rights or jurisdiction and administration; acts in excess of these limited rights are null and void in law and are not entitled to legal recognition in any country.
      (3) The rights of the occupant do not include any right to dispose of property, rights or interests for purposes other than the maintenance of public order and safety in the occupied territory. In particular, the occupant is not, in international law, vested with any power to transfer a title which will be valid outside that territory to any property, rights or interests which he purports to acquire or create or dispose of; this applies whether such property, rights or interests are those of the State or of private persons or bodies. This status of the occupant is not changed by the fact that the annexes by unilateral action the territory occupied by him.
      (4) The civil administration established in a country subject to belligerent occupation has no status in international law. Any rule of international law establishing the invalidity of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests effected by the occupant applies also to similar transfers and dealings carried out by any associate or agent of the occupant acting for him or in his interest.

      The issue of exploitation of natural resources of occupied territory arose following the occupation of Iraq by the forces of the USA and the UK, the two countries made a commitment to the UN security council that all the receipts from the Iraqi oil sector would be used for the Iraqi people, and would be kept in a separate fund from which only a recognised representative of the Iraqi people could draw (see UN resolution 1483 May 22nd 2003). The International court of justice at the Hague ruled that it was absolutely forbidden to utilise the natural resources of the occupied territory for the need of the occupying country and that by doing so breached article 43 (republic of Congo V Uganda. 19th December 2005).
      Of course we are aware of what the United States thinks of International Law so I will not hold my breath waiting for them to adhere to the above.

    • This Bill seems to ignore the fact that the West Bank including East Jerusalem is Occupied Palestinian Territory [OPT] and the settlements in them are classed as Grave war crimes in breach of Article 49 paragraph 6 of the Geneva Conventions. A few years ago the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in conjunction with the Department of Trade published a paper on Overseas Business risks- The Occupied Palestinian Territories, here is part of the paper....

      "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 recognised 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".

      This is very sound advice, any business investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in companies like Ahava or Golan Heights Winery could easily lose that money, since if a settlement was arrived at in the next few years, both the the Syrian and Palestinian governments could seize all settlement factories and claim reparations for the illegal use of natural resources and propery without compensation. Most countries occupied by Germany during WW2 declared that any trade or transactions with the occupier was null and void under International law, and would not be recognized. A PLO Negotiating committee paper several years ago also warned of such trade and its consequences. All good reasons why consumers should not invest in settlement products. Maybe US citizens should ask their representatives if they will guarantee out of their own pockets any reparations having to be made to the returning legitimate governments?

  • Bill making it a federal crime to support BDS sends shockwaves through progressive community
    • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has argued that the bill would “impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies”, in a letter sent to members of the Senate.

      “In short, the bill would punish businesses and individuals solely based on their point of view,” it wrote. “Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment.”
      Any person who does not do business with Israeli citizens or buy Israeli goods, should be interrogated by the authorities as to their state of mind, and if they 'believe' Israel should be Boycotted, a 20 year jail sentence will be neccessary. A lie detector test may be needed and/or enhanced interrogation techniques on, for instance, civil liberterians and people who read Mondoweiss.

    • The BDS movement have been accused of changing its goals, my comment above reflects its first change, it has subsequently been changed again ..
      "the BDS campaign has now decided to change its first goal once again. It now reads:

      “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall” (

      The 2010 embarrassing reference to the 1967 Israeli occupation is now removed. However once you read the small letters, you grasp that BDS is more of a JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) rather than a Palestinian voice. Though the goal does refer, once again, to Israeli “colonization of all Arab land,” the statement now makes it clear that it limits its demands to territories occupied in 1967:

      “International law recognises the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Syrian Golan Heights as occupied by Israel. As part of its military occupation,
      I support the two state solution and the implementation of International law, so I can only go along with the goals change of BDS, but still think that BDS should be applied to the Israeli state as recognised in International law within the green line, until it complies with International Law.

    • Here is the change in the BDS movements goals.... In 2005, the BDS’s first goal demanded that Israel“End[ing] its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantl[ing] the Wall” (

      This represented a clear and brave challenge to the legitimacy of the Jewish State,

      At some point BDS’s primary goal was changed significantly, it now reads: “Ending [its] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.” (

    • GregMozart, you say Professor Norman Finkelstein, openly derides BDS since it goes against the international consensus and everything they’ve fought for. Professor Finkelstein supports BDS in relation to property and investments in Occupied Palestinian Territory [OPT] If it is the case that the Professor does not support BDS of the state of Israel within the green line because of some International consensus about the legitimacy of Israels existence, then in my opinion he would be wrong since the settlement enterprise and claims of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank are claims made by the Israeli government on behalf of the Israeli state, therefore BDS should be applied to the instigators of the settlements and claims, at least until that government complies with International law. As far as I am aware the BDS movement simply want Israel to comply with International law, and officially do not have hard and fast views on one or two states. In fact BDS have been accused of changing its constitution some years ago to Israel leaving Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, in effect recognising Israel's existance within the green line.

    • This Bill also targets boycotting Occupied Palestinian Territory [OPT]... "While the measure is aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it also targets efforts by the United Nations and the European Union to distinguish products manufactured in Israel from those manufactured in West Bank settlements". [Jewish Telegraphic Agency] Think about that, by advocating for Boycott of products made by illegal settlers in OPT which are well documented war crimes.. $1 million dollar fines and 20 years in prison, talk about overeach. They should have really overeached themselves by inserting in the Bill those found guilty of opposing war crimes, will be tortured and then put to death, I have no doubt some would support that also.

  • The Palestinian Authority is on the verge of collapse, and collapse it should
    • Abbas reluctantly made a complaint to the ICC in early 2015, it is possible, on past experience that the office of the Prosecutor could take 10 years to come up with something, this is disgraceful, surely the Palestinian leadership could put pressure on the court to expedite this case urgently, if only on the issue of settlements? A slam dunk.

  • Ontario caves to Israel on falsely-labeled wines-- for now, anyway
    • The difficulty of trying to enforce labelling legislation is the reluctance of the courts, presumably under political pressure not to upset the Israelis. Here is one example concerning AHAVA [Dead Sea Industries] a case from the Supreme Court involving several issues and labelling.
      "1. Without prejudice to other provisions in this Article, cosmetic
      products shall be made available on the market only where the
      container and packaging of cosmetic products bear the following
      information in indelible, easily legible and visible lettering:
      (a) the name or registered name and the address of the responsible
      person. Such information may be abbreviated in so far as the
      abbreviation makes it possible to identify that person and his
      address. If several addresses are indicated, the one where the
      responsible person makes readily available the product information
      file shall be highlighted. The country of origin shall be specified for
      imported cosmetic products;

      Here is part of the Supreme Court case and its unusual decisions.
      "There was no basis for saying that the
      average consumer would be misled into making a transactional decision (ie into
      buying the product) when otherwise she would not have done, simply because the
      source was described as being constitutionally or politically Israel when actually it was the OPT: the source was after all correctly labelled as the Dead Sea. The district judge found that:
      “Whether or not the information given is false...I consider that the number of people whose decision whether or not to buy a supposedly Israeli product would be influenced by knowledge of its true provenance would fall far below the number required for them to be considered as the ‘average consumer’. If a potential purchaser is someone who is willing to buy Israeli goods at all, he or she would be
      in a very small category if that decision were different because the goods came from illegally occupied territory.”
      That finding was clearly open to the district judge on the evidence and is fatal to the
      contention that the offence was committed.23.
      The Cosmetic Products (Safety)Regulations 2008 were made to transpose a different EU Directive (76/768/EEC as amended). Regulation 12(1)(a) provides that no person shall supply a cosmetic product unless the following information is displayed inindelible and legible lettering: “the name or style and the address or registered office of the
      manufacturer or the person responsible for marketing the cosmetic product who is established within the EEA. ....Where the cosmetic product is manufactured outside the EEA, the country of origin must
      also be specified.” As the district judge found, the objective of these Regulations is clearly safety of the consumer. They require the provision of information about the manufacturer, so that the consumer knows whom to pursue in the event of complaint. Within the EEA the name of the manufacturer is enough. If the manufacturer is outside the EEA, then the country must also be identified. These products were accurately labelled as coming from the Dead Sea and it is not suggested that the manufacturer was not identified. The alleged inaccuracy relates to the political status of the Dead
      Sea area from which they are identified as coming. As the district judge rightly said,
      the Regulations are not directed at disputed issues of territoriality, however
      important those may be in other contexts. It is doubtful that any offence under these
      Regulations was shown, but if it was, there can be no doubt that it was not integral
      to the activity of the shop in selling the products, but at most collateral to it".
      See full verdict here
      Notice how the Judges say the product is accurately labelled "the Dead Sea" without mentioning the false country of origin [which 'SHALL' be indicated in the EU Regulation.Also contrary to the final EU Interpretive notice on the origin of goods from OPT mentioned in my other comments on this issue.

    • For information..
      A first attempt to summons 'The Wine Cellar' London for falsely labelling wine made in Syria as Israeli wine was turned down by the District Judge Abeleson [of Jewish origin]. The Judge unbelievably asked me what made me think Katzrin was not in Israel, I replied "Its not me that asserts that fact it is the UNSC"
      Here is part of the summons

      (Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, s 1)

      Magistrates’ Court (Code )
      Accused: Mr Avi Roth
      Address: 198 Stamford Hill, London N16 6RA. [Proprietor of ‘The Wine Cellar’]
      Alleged offence (short particulars and statute): Information Number 1
      Supplying falsely labelled wine contrary to European Union [EU] Regulation 607/2009 Article 55 1[a][i]. As Created by EU Regulation.1308/2013, formally 1234/2007. And the ‘Wine Regulations 2011’ section 14.2[b]

      I allege that Mr Avi Roth trading at the above address has failed, and continues to fail to comply with the compulsory particulars provisions of EU Regulation 607/2009 Article 55 1[a] [i], ‘Indication of the Provenance’, by retailing wine imported into the UK from a third country Syria [outside EU] with inter alia, false Country of Origin representations on the labels i.e. ‘Wine of Israel’ and Produced and Bottled by Golan Heights Winery POB 183 Katzrin I2900 Israel. In breach of the above EU Regulation. According to the United Nations Security Council Resolution number 497 [December 1981], the Golan Heights is Internationally recognised as part of sovereign Syrian territory, Israel is merely the illegal occupying power, and cannot legally claim that goods with an originating status in the Golan Heights, are produced in Israel [see initial details].
      He has ignored two warning letters dated 26th November 2014 and 10th March 2015 [sent recorded delivery]. Please find attached as evidence, two photographs of offending wine bottle labels, together with detailed prosecution case with evidence. The wine described as ‘Muscat’ was supplied to me on November 8th 2014 by Mr Roth via the internet. Both labels falsely indicate as facts, ‘Israel’ as the Country of origin, in breach of the legislation above, and contrary to ‘Country of Origin’ rules as set out in European Union [Regulation 2913/92 Articles 23,24 and 25] and UK Trade Descriptions Act 1968 [section 36].

      See attached, for initial details of prosecution case.

      The information of Harry Law address .............................

      Who (upon oath) states that the accused committed the offence of which particulars are given above

      More details of this case are available if required, other cases are being prepared.

    • Here is the information referred to in my comment above...
      Guidance from UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
      Overseas Business Risk The Occupied
      Palestinian Territories

      Inter alia..."Potential buyers and investors should be aware that a future peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, or between Israel and Syria, could have consequences for property they purchase or economic activities they promote in these settlements. In case of disputes, it could be very difficult for Member States to ensure national protection of their interests.
      EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements.
      EU citizens and businesses contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice before proceeding".

    • Well done David, here in the UK I am experiencing the same frustrations as you. Golan Heights Winery sell wine all over the world as two examples Yarden, one of their brand names, sell a muscat white wine, and a red wine, Sauvignon Blanc, both wine labels make at least two false representations:
      1. ‘WINE OF ISRAEL’ and
      These are false facts in breach of EU legislation, they are not misleading, in my opinion misleading means there is doubt as to whether something is true or false, in this case there is no doubt about the falsity of the representations.
      The label on the “Sauvignon Blanc”’ bottle indicates that the grapes were grown and harvested entirely in the Golan Heights. Under country of origin rules, originating products are determined, (in this case, grapes) by being wholly grown, harvested and turned into wine in that territory, therefore the wine is of Syrian origin.
      The geographical territory, together with all the metrics by which country of origin is arrived at is the determinative factor, not the nationality of the exporter, if this was not the case the world trade system would collapse.
      As an added factor, both 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 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 misterioso helpfully pointed out on the Kate article. "Canada order stores to deshelve settler wines with ‘made in Israel’ label "13th july 2017. "On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void.”
      Several years ago the UK Foreign Office in conjunction with the Dept of Trade warned consumers about the dangers of buying goods from occupied territory and that before doing so should seek legal advice
      Then on 11.11.2015 the European Commission put out an Interpretive Notice which said at paragraph (10)
      For products from the West Bank or the Golan Heights that originate from settlements, an indication limited to 'product from the Golan Heights'or'product from the West Bank' would not be acceptable. Even if they would designate the wider area or territory from which the product originates, the omission of the additional geographical information
      that the product comes from Israeli settlements would mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product. In such cases the expression 'Israeli settlement' or equivalent needs to be added, in brackets, for example. Therefore, expressions such as 'product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)'or'product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement)'
      could be used.
      As you can see from my comments in the Kate article these wines are in breach of all the labelling legislation at European Union level and also still on the statute book,section 16 and 36 Trade Descriptions Act 1968.
      Prohibition of importation of certain goods
      16 Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin.

      “Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the United Kingdom and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or any part thereof, the goods shall not be imported into the United Kingdom”.
      36 Country of origin.
      (1)For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.
      Court cases are being prepared on these matters.

  • Canada order stores to deshelve settler wines with 'made in Israel' label
    • In the opinion of the International Court of Justice [ICJ] the Wall case, all 15 Judges declared all the settlements to be illegal in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, they are occupied territories. Before the ECJ made its judgement in my comment above, the advocate General gave his opinion on the territorial extent of the Israel/EU Association Agreement.
      108. I would point out, first of all, that Article 83 of the EC-Israel Agreement provides that ‘[it] shall apply … to the territory of the State of Israel’.
      109. The borders of the State of Israel were defined by the Plan for the Partition of Palestine, drawn up by UNSCOP (48) and approved on 29 November 1947 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. On 14 May 1948, the Head of the Provisional Government of the State of Israel proclaimed the birth of that State on the basis of the borders which had been defined by the Plan for the Partition of Palestine. (49)
      112. In the light of the foregoing, the Court cannot but conclude, in my view, that the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip do not form part of the territory of the State of Israel.

    • Yes oldgeezer, it has been rescinded on the basis of the Canadian/Israel free trade agreement which stipulates that "According to the agreement, Israel refers to any territory in which its custom laws apply." Of course Israels custom laws should not apply, Under the EU/Israel Association Agreement for instance the European Court decided at...
      52 Accordingly, to interpret Article 83 of the EC-Israel Association Agreement as meaning that the Israeli customs authorities enjoy competence in respect of products originating in the West Bank would be tantamount to imposing on the Palestinian customs authorities an obligation to refrain from exercising the competence conferred upon them by virtue of the abovementioned provisions of the EC-PLO Protocol. Such an interpretation, the effect of which would be to create an obligation for a third party without its consent, would thus be contrary to the principle of general international law, ‘pacta tertiis nec nocent nec prosunt’, as consolidated in Article 34 of the Vienna Convention. Full judgement of the court..;jsessionid=9ea7d0f130d52d7aff3fbe804e2ca3f8e19a079b3ed9.e34KaxiLc3eQc40LaxqMbN4PaxyLe0?text=&docid=72406&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=318551

    • A bit more information on my comment above, the false or misleading statement must be false or misleading to a material degree. I would think a different country to the one claimed is material. Could a Frenchman buying and operating an English vineyard sell his product as French wine? He would be a candidate for Madame Guillotine.
      Here are two further parts of that Act
      3. False trade description.

      (1)A false trade description is a trade description which is false to a material degree.
      (2)A trade description which, though not false, is misleading, that is to say, likely to be taken for such an indication of any of the matters specified in section 2 of this Act as would be false to a material degree, shall be deemed to be a false trade description.
      (3)Anything which, though not a trade description, is likely to be taken for an indication of any of those matters and, as such an indication, would be false to a material degree, shall be deemed to be a false trade description.
      (4)A false indication, or anything likely to be taken as an indication which would be false, that any goods comply with a standard specified or recognised by any person or implied by the approval of any person shall be deemed to be a false trade description, if there is no such person or no standard so specified, recognised or implied.

      36 Country of origin.
      (1)For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.
      (2)The Board of Trade may by order specify—
      (a)in relation to any description of goods, what treatment or process is to be regarded for the purposes of this section as resulting or not resulting in a substantial change;
      (b)in relation to any description of goods different parts of which were manufactured or produced in different countries, or of goods assembled in a country different from that in which their parts were manufactured or produced, in which of those countries the goods are to be regarded for the purposes of this Act as having been manufactured or produced.

    • Labelling for products from the West Bank and Golan Heights is already in UK and EU Law, here is just one example from the 1968 Trade Descriptions Act. Most of this Act has been repealed and replaced by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, but section 16 TDA is still on the statute book. Here is section 16
      Prohibition of importation of certain goods
      16 Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin.

      "Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the United Kingdom and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or any part thereof, the goods shall not be imported into the United Kingdom".
      There is nothing misleading in wine grown in, harvested and bottled in the Golan Heights Syria and sold in the UK as from Israel, it is FALSE and should not be imported into the UK.

      Unfortunately the Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights refuse all my requests for assistance to take these issues to the relevent court. In my opinion the LPHR although masquerading as a legitimate charity are in fact operating as a business, who only take cases where lawyers can earn big bucks, for instance through Judicial Review etc.

  • Nadia Hijab on Palestinian options, Jewish allies, and the Zionist crisis
    • Nadia Hijab is a thoughtful and intelligent person, she is right about BDS and the primacy of getting the EU on board for action on these issues. It must not be forgotten that President Abbas does not support BDS, also the Palestinians need unity above all else, how can outsiders fight for Palestinian rights when their leadership are advocating war crimes against Gazans for purely political advantage [Abbas calls on Israel to cut electricity to Gaza]. Professor Finkelstein said the end of Apartheid in South Africa could not have happened without the backing of the African front line states, indeed the whole of Africa. Compare that with the lack of support from Arab states in the middle east, Saudi Arabia and other GCC states are allying with Israel in their religious and ideological battle with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, the very combination who have promised to confront Israel on behalf of Palestinian rights and self determination. The crucial issue which Zionists must realize is that self determination for the Palestinians involves Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Jordan valley. In a recent interview with the NYTimes Naftali Bennett addressed this issue honestly, he said Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank is not negotiable and that areas A and B should be 'administered' by the PLO in what I can only describe as Bantustans, they would not be allowed to send representatives to the Knesset . "The Palestinians will have political independence, hold their own elections, select their own leadership, run their own schools, maintain their own social services and issue their own building permits. They should govern themselves and run their day-to-day lives. Israel should not interfere. Much of this already exists, but we can do better.

      This Palestinian entity will be short of a state. It will not control its own borders and will not be allowed to have a military". then he adds Lastly, I propose applying Israeli law in Area C, which is the part of the West Bank controlled by Israel under the Oslo agreement. The Palestinians who live there would be offered full Israeli citizenship. We can start with the known settlement blocs that everyone agrees will remain part of Israel even under a final status agreement. By applying Israeli law and asserting national sovereignty in those blocs, while upgrading Palestinian autonomy in Areas A and B, we will reduce the scope of territory in dispute, making it easier to reach a long-term agreement in the future". There we have it, no Palestinian sovereignty for any part of the West Bank, and Israeli rule in area C [60% of West Bank] means annexation. Palestinians need unity first and foremost, then they need the backing of Middle Eastern front line states, unfortunately the 'West' does not have the political will to confront Israel, they may be forced to when the 'arc of resistance', Iran, Syria, Hezbollah backed by Russia prevail in their war against those proxy forces in Syria [backed by Saudi Arabia and other GCC states and much of the West] are defeated. Netanyahu said Israel will live by the sword, those are fighting words, other states in the region may not be so easily pushed around and have too much self respect to be cowed by Israel or its backers in the West.

  • Clinton lost because PA, WI, and MI have high casualty rates and saw her as pro-war, study says
    • Here is Hilary [the warmonger] Clinton threatening Russia and China.

    • Sorry forgot about Iran, the US/Israel and Saudi Arabia are threatening Iran daily, any war on Iran could bring in Russia and make the $6 trillion Afghan/Iraq wars seem like chump change.

    • It is true the human cost of these Middle East wars is reflected in death and injury to mostly working class citizens, these loses are reflected in the up to $6 trillion dollar projected costs of these wars of choice as explained in the study by Harvard University Kennedy Law School Senior Lecturer Linda Bilmes Unfortunately Trump lied before he was elected when he said that the crazy expenditure of those wars could have rebuilt the infrastructure of the US twice over. Thats true, now he is doubling down on US belligerence by not only threatening North Korea and Syria but China and Russia as well. It is depressing to learn the high point so far of the Trump Presidency as far as the mainstream media is concerned is when Trump bombed that Syrian airbase contrary to International law and the UN Charter, the MSM were ecstatic.
      This unlawful aggression was based on pure propaganda put about by the usual suspects, and firmly refuted by Seymour Hersh Only when the US complies with International Law will peace be given a chance.

  • Sober anniversaries for Gaza fuel movement building
    • This spat between Abbas and Hamas is nothing new in inter Arab emnity thats why
      Gaddafi's speech to the Arab League in Syria 2008 was so prescient..
      "We [the Arabs] are the enemies of one another I'm sad to say, we deceive one another, we gloat at the misfortune of one another, and we conspire against one another, and an Arab's enemy is another Arab's friend.
      Along comes a foreign power, occupies an Arab country [Iraq] and hangs its President,and we all sit on the sidelines laughing. Any one of you might be next, yes.

    • Israeli war crimes have been well documented in Gaza, the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure etc, most Israeli excuses are that they have a right to defend themselves [from Hamas violence] Obama said as much during the last Gaza massacre. There are other war crimes committed by the Palestinian Authority which in many ways are just as bad. Abbas wanted all electricity cut to Gaza, which would mean constant electrical blackouts—up to 20 hours per day which also affect water and sanitation as well as other critical services such as health and education, did the Israeli Authorities advise Abbas that this in itself was a war crime, and explain that when we [the IDF] commit war crimes we give the excuse that we have the right to defend ourselves whereas you want to cut off electricity to Palestinian incubators and water treatment plants merely for political purposes. Disgusting.

  • Palestinian Authority blocks access to news sites linked to Abbas rivals
    • Thank's Citizen, complicated ain't it?

    • Abbas wants to be a Pharaoh, asking Israel to cut electricity to the already desperate Gaza strip amounts to complicity in a war crimes, I feel sure Abbas would like to cut the heads off critics, just like his friend King Salman, who in turn would gladly throw Abbas under the bus at the first opportunity. The Palestinians only hope is to somehow get some unity, and join the 'ark of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon backed by Russia, in my opinion, that's the future.

  • The Palestinian minority inside Israel is our last chance for freedom
    • The Author should attempt to get some unity amongst Palestinans in the West Bank and Gaza.
      PLO leader Abbas is calling for war crimes against his own people [calling on the occupying force to restrict electricity to the already dire predicament of Gazans.
      The Author also talks about BDS, is he aware Abbas is against BDS, and has recently banned any pubications critical of his rule,7340,L-4976532,00.html The Palestinian leadership need to get their own house in order first.

  • Israel and P.A. go forward with plan to cut electricity to Gaza by 40 percent
    • Abbas the collaborator should feel ashamed of himself, he is advocating war crimes against his own people, Abbas had originally sought a 100% cut in Gaza’s electricity, but Israel refused, citing humanitarian concerns. Even with this smaller cut, Israeli military advisers are warning a mounting humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip will likely escalate the level of violence along the Israeli border. Doing the PA leaders bidding does not exonerate Israel, the occupying power in Gaza, of its responsibilities. The Fourth Geneva Convention, governing military occupation, requires the occupier to use all means at its disposal to ensure adequate medical services, public health and other basic necessities of life.

  • Interrogating the Qatar rift
    • These are the 10 demands the Qataris must comply with..

      1) Cutting ties with Iran immediately.

      2) Officially apologizing for all GCC governments for the insults, fake news they've tolerated from broadcast network Aljazeera.

      3) Expelling all Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members from Qatar.

      4) Stop interfering in Egypt's affairs immediately.

      5) Stop sponsoring or funding any terror groups in any way, shape or form.

      6) Freezing Hamas leaders bank accounts and prohibiting any financial transactions with/by them in that regard.

      7) Vowing not to have any future policies or political roles that contradict the GCC unified polices.

      8) Shutting down Aljazeera TV network immediately and abiding by the pact agreed upon by Doha in 2012 during late King Abdullah rule.

      9) Expelling all the personalities, figures who have known aggressive stances against GCC countries from Qatar.

      10) In case Qatar fully agreed to all above, an urgent meeting of GCC leaders to be held in Jeddah, KSA tomorrow to ink the irrevocable deal.

      This is amusing, the biggest funder of terrorism in the world and in particular in Syria is Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden in a talk at a US University last year and H Clinton in the wikileaks
      e mails confirmed it. Qatar is a terrorist funding source particularly of Muslim brotherhood groups who Turkey also support, hence their agreement to send Turkish troops to Qatar.
      We now know Qatar will not change its foreign policy to suit Saudi Arabia.
      On the other hand Qatar must realize their Syrian war gambit has failed and their proxy forces are being decimated. Could they not see the writing on the wall and team up with Iran to develop the huge South pars field they share with them and pipe the gas through Iran, Iraq and Syria/Turkey to the Med and onto Europe. In my opinion the US/Saudi and UAE have blundered and could have split the GCC permanently. To be honest, I would like to see all these satraps in the GCC swept away.

  • Trump's Jerusalem
    • Sorry did mean praying, but looked up the urban dictionary and came up with this...
      Urban Dictionary: #preying
      #preying. Top Definition. Pussy Sailing. a term that means looking for girls/pussies. looking for wiling girls to have sex. "Man, It's been a rough week." "Yes, we should go pussy sailing."
      #sexing #hunting #preying #fun #party starter #midnight beast
      by De Jay Hemmingston January 17, 2010
      Entirely appropriate for Trump, don't you think?

    • That poster with Abbas with a bagfull of money tells it's own story, then picture Trump sword dancing with the Saudi despots one day then wearing a Yamulke and preying at the Western wall the next. Should the Palestinians prepare to be thrown under the bus? Or is this a prelude to the GCC states and Israel teaming up with the US to [as the Saudis say] cut the head off the snake [Iran].

  • DC and Jerusalem reel over Trump disclosure of ISIS plan to-- hush!-- put laptop bombs on planes
    • Terrorists smuggling bombs in laptops is a serious security concern to all aircraft. That concern becomes farcical when the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain advocates arming those same terrorists with manpads. And only a few miles from Ben Gurion airport, shameful.
      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia’s military jets.

      “Absolutely… Absolutely I would,” McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria.

      “We certainly did that in Afghanistan. After the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we provided them with surface-to-air capability. It’d be nice to give people that we train and equip and send them to fight the ability to defend themselves. That’s one of the fundamental principles of warfare as I understand it,” McCain said.

  • Palestinians cope with Gaza's electricity crisis as Fatah aims to pressure Hamas
    • It is difficult to believe the Palestinians will achieve anything when the Israelis can divide and rule so easily, unfortunately they have the perfect enabler of the occupation in Abbas. Neither can they look to their rich neighbours, Saudi Arabia for instance is to spend 100 billion dollars on arms deals with the US, these deals are just protection money [shake down] as you would give to anyone who promised to protect you from perceived threats from Iran and the other members of the 'arc of resistance'. This is proof positve that the old adage is true, 'follow the money'.

  • Here we go again! Netanyahu disputes Trump administration, urges him to 'shatter Palestinian fantasy' about Jerusalem
    • Not forgetting the other Congress critters "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".

    • “Who the fuck does he think he is?” Bill Clinton said. It was the summer of 1996, and the president had just met Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time. Clinton thought they would talk about advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords, but the newly elected Israeli prime minister used the occasion to lecture him about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
      “Who’s the fucking superpower here?” Clinton fumed".

      Some things never change.

      "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his harshest statement yet to the Trump administration yesterday, correcting the president on Jerusalem and urging him to shatter “the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”
      Time for Netanyahu to tell Trump who the real President of the US is. Netanyahu has 100 Senators on his side, how many has Trump?
      One thing Trump will face on his trip to the Middle East is a united front between Saudi Arabia and other GCC states and Israel on the need to attack Iran. Some in his administration do not need convincing of that imperitive.

  • 'Look, I didn't write that letter' -- Sanders on defensive for signing letter slamming UN on Israel
    • Professor Finlelstein would have had the courage to be that one in 100 Senators, Sanders has no such courage. One of the subjects of the good Professor, Ghandy, said there is nothing more despicable than cowardice. Take a bow Berny.

  • A Republican plan for peacemaking: 'break the will' of the Palestinians and force them to 'accept defeat'
    • Just another reminder of Israel's impunity....

      The council of FIFA, the international soccer association, decided to remove the draft resolution on soccer teams from Israeli settlements from the agenda of its congress.

      Tuesday's decision was reached by the organization's council, which convened in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, ahead of the FIFA Congress set to begin on Wednesday. In an official statement, FIFA said that following a discussion of the matter, the FIFA council decided that it would be too early for the congress to make a decision on the issue at this stage.
      FIFA Statutes 68 Obligations
      ]2] Recourse to ordinary Courts of Law is prohibited unless specifically provided for.

      83[2] Members and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member without the latters approval.
      Of course the rules also state there should be no political interferance. Which did not stop Netanyahu...
      On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Infantino over the weekend, asking him to remove the Palestinian demand to impose sanctions against the six settlement teams from the Congress agenda. An Israeli official said that Netanyahu stressed to the FIFA leader during their roughly half-hour chat that sports and politics shouldn't mix. "The Palestinian conflict is long term and FIFA isn't going to solve it," Netanyahu told Infantino. So they [the FIFA Council] decided to remove the draft resolution on soccer teams from Israeli settlements from the agenda of its congress. Could be another win for Israeli impunity.

    • Brewer, There is a fundamental contradiction written into the UN Charter on the one hand, article 2[1] states; "The organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” But, on the other hand, Article 23 of the Charter grants five of its Members permanent seats on the Security Council, and Article 27 gives each of them a veto over decisions of the Council. Clearly, all Members are equal, but some Members are more equal than others. Thus all five veto wielding powers the US, UK, France, China and Russia AND their friends are above International law, for all time. So that should all four veto wielding members gang up on the US, the US simply veto's the Resolution it is then consigned to the memory hole.
      Academic lawyers in their thousands may protest that taking military action against Iraq for instance was illegal because it lacked proper authorisation by the Security Council, but it is of no consequence in the real world when there is no possibility of the UK, or its political leadership, being convicted for taking such action. It is meaningless to describe an action as illegal if there is no expectation that the perpetrator of the action will be convicted by a competent judicial body. In the real world, an action is legal unless a competent judicial body rules that it is illegal.

    • Alright, suppose the Palestinians said 'You have won' now give us the vote, what would happen? Naftali Bennett has the solution....
      My vision is very clear and coherent, the words and deeds must support each other.

      A Palestinian state in Gaza. This already exists, they have an effective government, recognized borders and a military.

      Autonomy in Palestinian Authority areas. It is less than a state but it has a huge degree of self-governance.

      Applying Israeli law on Area C. There are 500,000 Israelis living there and between 70,000 to 100,000 Palestinians. [The Palestinians] would be able to vote for the Knesset and they would represent a 1 percent addition to Israel’s population, which is negligible.

      Bennett's formula is based on the whole of the West Bank [or Judea and Samerea as Israelis see it] being sovereign Israeli territory for all time [this is, according to him 'the Land of Israel' after all. Areas A and B to be administered by the Palestinians, similar to the Bantustans in South Africa. What the delusional Bennett does not admit in this article is that should the Palestinians turn this solution down, they will be forced to accept it.

  • 'The Trump opportunity' -- some Palestinians are optimistic about Abbas visit to White House (!)
  • Settlement opponents appeal to Massachusetts Democratic Party to pass resolution tomorrow
  • Abbas should stop playing us for political gain, say young Gazan writers
    • Abbas is a catastrophe for the Palestinians, cutting off salaries, water and electricity to Gazans in the vain hope that it pleases Trump, there is no hope for Abbas. Maybe he needs to borrow some f16's and lay waste to the parts of Gaza the Israelis didn't destroy [snark].

    • So the collaborator and Israels military enforcer Abbas who governs the West Bank without a mandate, wants to commit war crimes against his own people, inter alia withholding electricity from Gaza. This beggars belief and can only be seen as a sop to his coming meet with Trump.
      Abass is in a bind, The European Union and United States fund the PA and with funding comes US/EU dictats adhere to the piece process etc, many in the Arab world are in the US camp, Saudi arabia and the other GCC states are dependent on the US for protection, and just like any mafia Don the US does so at the price of guaranteed weapons sales [100's of billions] investments in the US, and most importantly the petro dollar, Egypt cannot feed itself and is not in a position to intervene on the Palestinians side. The 'West' also is reluctant to confront the Israelis and fearful of the US reaction if they did. In a word the Palestinians have few friends, at least at head of government level. They could of course join the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah who in my opinion will constitute the hegemon of the region in the near future, but Abbas would not think of anything as radical as that.

  • No self-determination
    • Moshe Machova sees a two state solution, Tony Greenstein wants a one state solution. The National question cannot be ignored, it goes to the heart of the problem, Moshe Machover said the Palestinians must recognize the 'Hebrew' State, they already have [along the 1967 borders] what the Palestinians want is for Israel to recognize the Palestinian right to self determination, not going to happen of course, the Israeli version of Palestinian self determination is a series of Bantustans with a small measure of administrative devolution, within 'the land of Israel', full sovereignty of course invested in the Israeli state. Danny Danon recently outlined this vision, totally unacceptable of course since, for one example, it would not allow Palestinians in those Bantustans to vote in the Knesset. Tony Greenstein seems to think a one state solution will lead to Jewish and Palestinian workers coming together and fighting for their common class interests, a commendable aspiration unfortunately that is highly unlikely, because of the different National aspirations of both groups. The Israelis would see their state disappear within 10 years because of the change in demographics, people might argue that would not be a bad thing, but in the real world it would have consequences. I don't believe the Israelis would agree to such an outcome. Neither do the Palestinians want it since they have been fighting against occupation and have insisted on legitimizing their state at the UN and around the world for generations. Professor N Finkelstein spoke in Dublin not long ago concerning this very question he said this.."If you can't get half a loaf,[a two state solution] why not ask for the whole loaf, if it seems as if the two states is not within reach, well why not ask for one state? I can understand that reasoning , the logic of it, but you would have to convince me of two things, number one, that two states is not within reach, and you would have to convince me that one state is more within reach than two states. I think neither propositions is true, I think the second proposition is positively insane. If Israel will not abandon/give up the West Bank, if that's true do you think it would be easier for Israel to give up a Jewish State? Does that make any sense? If two states is remote, one state is another time warp".

  • Palestinian refugees are under attack in Lebanon again
    • The Palestinians are split enough, they can achieve nothing until there is a modicum of unity between Fatah and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza, throw in these Salafist groups on Lebanese territory and it must bring joy to the heart of every Israeli. The agreement in the late 60's not to allow Lebanese forces to enter this camp is completely out of date because of the Islamist assault on Syria. The Lebanese security services must have known about these groups and the national security threat they pose and act against them. The last thing Palestinians need now [how many is not known] is to attach themselves to Salafi sectarian headchoppers, who will be defeated in both Syria and Lebanon, hopefully the sooner the better. Isn't it strange that the entities most opposed to Israel, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah who represent the Palestinians best long term hopes, are the ones who the sectarian Salafist groups hate the most. No wonder the IDF are regarded as the Islamists air force in Syria.

  • When it comes to Syria, our press is full of moralizing and propaganda, and short on analysis
    • When 95% of the MSM say Assad is a Dictator/monster, then it becomes almost obligatory to precede any defence of Assad by declaring 'yes he is a dictator, but'. This has the effect of disarming critics of your line of augument, but it is dishonest. First question to ask is. is he a Dictator, before 2014 he was. The new Syrian constitution of 2012, approved in popular referendum, introduced multi-party system without guaranteed leadership of any political party. In a new article 88, it introduced presidential elections and limited the term of office for the president to seven years with a maximum of one re-election. Thus in 2014 Assad won the Presidential election with 88% of the vote, in the 2016 Parliamentary elections Assads Ba'ath party won 200 of the 250 seats. The election was declared free and fair by 30 observing countries. Most opinion polls say Assad has substantial popular support, evident when any appearance by him is greeted by massive crowds of well wishers. Even a poll in the DoHa debates several years ago commissioned by Assads principal enemy Qatar found Assad to be the most popular leader. In my opinion, Assad has a duty to defend his people against this regime change assault from the West with the hard cutting edge of Turkey with financial backing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Here are the choices:- Back Assad's government, which is secular, has free education and health care, or back the Jihadis who regard anyone not like them as Infidels worthy of death, who have promised to kill or displace all minorities who disagree with them. Likely sell women as sex slaves and impose the most severe form of Sharia law, worse than Saudi Arabia. These are the choices, Assad is right.

    • The US have been trying to regime change Syria for many years........
      "Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.

      Ford assured us that those taking up arms to overthrow the Syrian government were simply moderates and democrats seeking to change Syria’s autocratic system. Anyone pointing out the obviously Islamist extremist nature of the rebellion and the foreign funding and backing for the jihadists was written off as an Assad apologist or worse.

      Ambassador Ford talked himself blue in the face reassuring us that he was only supporting moderates in Syria. As evidence mounted that the recipients of the largesse doled out by Washington was going to jihadist groups, Ford finally admitted early last year that most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda. Witness this incredible Twitter exchange with then-ex Ambassador Ford":
      The US have picked a side in this war, it is the sectarian Islamists, backed by its friends Turkey [NATO member] Saudi Arabia [Arms sales, financial agreements, use of the dollar in financial markets etc] other GCC states ditto. And Israel who are now aligning with Saudi Arabia in the coming confrontation with Iran. Israel also occupies the Golan Heights and wants to create a further buffer zone to add to it [the Golan is rich in oil, now being exploited by a group with Dick Cheny and Rupert Murdock as heads.
      Of course the real reason these countries led by the US support the Sunni Islamists is because of Iran and the other members of the so called 'arc of extremism' Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah backed by Russia. People should not take too seriously propaganda and intelligence estimates [more lightly guesses] and look at what US 'POLICY' is. Clearly it is the destruction of Iran. Syria and Hezbollah are just obstacles to the greater prize {Bill Kristol said this should be the prime US objective just the other day]. The US are supporting terrorists in Syria in breach of Article 2[4] of the UN Charter, as proof, why else would Tulsi Gabbard and Rand Paul introduce a 'stop arming terrorists' bill in Congress. The US are responsible for the carnage in Syria.

  • Three years after Israeli attack that ended their careers, ex-soccer players call on FIFA to protect Palestinian rights
    • FIFA cannot fudge this decision, on the one hand Israel argues that the territory is disputed, that is 100% correct. Unfortunately only Israel of all the member states of the UN say it is their territory. On the other hand the Palestinian Football Association [PFA] can claim it is their territory and quote a list of evidence proving that fact. Here are several...
      1/ UNSC Resolution 2334 [2016] which does not recognize Israeli settlements on Palestinian Land.
      2/ Recognition by a majority of UN members of Palestinian Statehood.
      3/ Recognition by the European Court of Justice [the Brita case] that the West Bank is Palestinian Territory for the purposes of the Association Agreements concluded by both governments with the European Union.
      4/ The highest Court in the World the International Court of Justice [ICJ] gave its opinion in 2004 [the Wall case] that all the settlements in the West Bank where illegal, all 15 Judges including the American one reached this unanimous conclusion.
      5/ The International Criminal Court [ICC] having agreed that Palestine is a recognized state at the UN, have now initiated a preliminary investigation of 'war crimes' in Palestinian territory.
      All the FIFA procedures will have to be followed including arbitration, The PFA have said "We can't accept Israeli football association running its activities on our territory. If we accept a compromise, we will be part of the crime." If FIFA opt for the status quo and do not tell Israel to abide by FIFA statutes and since there is no provision to go outside FIFA statutes and appeal to ordinary courts of law, however it is possible for the PFA to go to an ordinary court of law and risk being thrown out themselves, since they signed an agreement to abide by FIFA statutes not to do so [statute 68, 2 and 3] now amended FIFA statutes 59 2 and 3 here If they do not want to be part of the crime, they must opt for the latter.

    • Israel 'lobbying FIFA' to prevent settlement teams' ban
      FIFA to discuss in May sanctions call over six teams based in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

      FIFA statutes.

      The Confederations, Members and Leagues shall agree to recognise CAS as
      an independent judicial authority and to ensure that their members, affiliated
      Players and Officials comply with the decisions passed by CAS. The same
      obligation shall apply to intermediaries and licensed match agents.
      Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided
      for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of
      provisional measures is also prohibited.
      The Associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating
      that it is prohibited to take disputes in the Association or disputes affecting
      Leagues, members of Leagues, Clubs, members of Clubs, Players, Officials and
      other Association Officials to ordinary courts of law, unless the FIFA regulations
      or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to
      ordinary courts of law. Instead of recourse to ordinary courts of law, provision
      shall be made for arbitration. Such disputes shall be taken to an independent
      and duly constituted arbitration tribunal recognised under the rules of the
      Association or Confederation or to CAS

      Players and teams affiliated to Members or provisional members of the
      Confederations may not play matches or make sporting contacts with Players
      or teams that are not affiliated to Members or provisional members of the
      Confederations without the approval of FIFA.
      Members and their Clubs may not play on the territory of another Member
      without the latter’s approval.
      Associations, Leagues or Clubs that are affiliated to a Member may only join
      another Member or take part in competitions on that Member’s territory
      under exceptional circumstances. In each case, authorisation must be given by
      both Members, the respective Confederation(s) and by FIFA.

      Notice the statute 68[2 and 3] Recourse to ordinary courts of law is forbidden.
      I know what FIFA will do.

  • Bill Kristol celebrates 'normal' foreign policy -- with Russia replacing Iraq in the new 'axis of evil'
  • Trump dines, Arabs die
  • The false piety over Spicer's Holocaust mistake
    • Spicer would do well to also remember the use of chemical weapons by the US and its allies
      Agent Orange was used for over 10 years in Vietnam.
      Agent Orange was a chemical, herbicidal weapon sprayed over 12 percent of Vietnam by the U.S. military from 1961 to 1971. The dioxinpresent in Agent Orange is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humanity.

      Those exposed to Agent Orange during the war often have children and grandchildren with serious illnesses and disabilities. The international scientific community has identified an association between exposure to Agent Orange and some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam as well as to U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in this country. [Counterpunch]

      White Phosphorous is also a chemical weapon used extensively by the US in Iraq and more recentely by the Israelis in Gaza. Plus depleted uranium, the US used 300 tons when invading Iraq, the fine uranium dust particles have been found to cause cancers and other abnormalities in Iraqi children born today.
      Not forgetting Winston Churchill.
      Winston Churchill’s shocking use of chemical weapons
      The use of chemical weapons in Syria has outraged the world. But it is easy to forget that Britain has used them – and that Winston Churchill was a powerful advocate for them

      Secrecy was paramount. Britain’s imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia.
      Churchhills bust is staring at Trump in the Oval office. Pot, Kettle.

    • Sorry for three posts in a row but I think this is important, who has chemical weapons.. "The Syrian General Staff said that the US-led coalition struck a Daesh depot storing chemical weapons in Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday.

      The Syrian military said that this fact proves that terrorists possess chemical weapons.

      "The jets of the so-called US-led coalition launched a strike at about 17:30-17:50 [local time, 14:30-14:50 GMT] on a Daesh warehouse where many foreign fighters were present. First a white cloud and then a yellow one appeared at the site of the strike, which points at the presence of a large number of poisonous substances. A fire at the site continued until 22:30 [19:30 GMT]," the Syrian army's command statement obtained by Sputnik said.

      According to the Syrian General Staff, the US-led coalition's strike killed several hundred people, including civilians. Hundreds were poisoned as a result of the strike on Daesh's headquarters and depot with chemical weapons".

    • Andrew P Napolitano has this take on the US bombing of Syria...
      "Assad, for all his faults, is vigorously fighting al-Qaida and the Islamic State. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Why would America harm another sovereign entity that is trying to take out al-Qaida and the Islamic State? Attacking Syrian military assets only aids al-Qaida and the Islamic State, which constitutes providing material assistance to terrorist organizations. Could anyone have imagined our country’s ever doing that"?
      That is a good question, one has to look to the US arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan which led to 9/11, more recently John McCain called for arming the Islamists in Syria with manpads.
      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia’s military jets.

      “Absolutely… Absolutely I would,” McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria.

      “We certainly did that in Afghanistan. After the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we provided them with surface-to-air capability. It’d be nice to give people that we train and equip and send them to fight the ability to defend themselves. That’s one of the fundamental principles of warfare as I understand it,” McCain said.
      Why has John McCain not been charged with material support for terrorism as US law stipulates under the Patriot Act?

    • As David Bromwich points out "the evidence that Assad committed the chemical weapon attack is less than convincing". Professor Theodor Postol MIT leading authority on these matters agrees with him ...“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.

      “What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” Postol wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”

  • Trump's Gambit: Sacrificing a fascist for establishment approval and Israeli propaganda
    • JLD, Donald “Caligula” Trump similar to Caligula, but arguably more dangerous is a horse's ass, and just like the team he [Trump]has assembled and similar to the US Senate has more horses asses than horses.

  • Israel’s ‘right to exist’ and the Palestinian right to resist
    • Before Israelis demand Palestinians call Israel 'The Jewish state of Israel' or 'Israel the Jewish state', they should change their official name at the United Nations. Then Palestinian leaders 'may' be required to acknowledge that name when signing treaties etc. Rather like the official name of the 'Islamic Republic of Pakistan'. Can't see the Israelis having the chutzpah to do that, in which case they cannot demand it from others.

  • Why so many are twisting Ken Livingstone’s words about Hitler and Zionism
    • I agree with you Ossinev, Corbyn has taken the cowards way out, this is an entirely political smear campaign as Professor Finkelstein said in the link in Johnathan's article "The only plausible answer is, it’s political. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the factual situation; instead, a few suspect cases of antisemitism – some real, some contrived – are being exploited for an ulterior political motive. As one senior Labour MP said the other day, it’s transparently a smear campaign".

    • Will he won't he, take legal action to clear his name? Ken Livingstone has warned he will take Labour to court if it expels him over alleged anti-Semitism.

      The former Mayor of London told HuffPost UK that leading barrister Michael Mansfield QC and solicitor Imran Khan were preparing a judicial review, which could end up costing the party tens of thousands of pounds.
      Livingstone has been found guilty of 'bringing the party into disrepute' and has been suspended for a further 12 months. This has not stopped him constantly being referred to as an Antisemite. If he does nothing his accusers, including the MSM win, and the chill factor so sought after by his accusers will be magnified out of all proportion to any other person who dares question Zionism. He could easily crowd fund finances for a case.

  • JDL member arrested for attacking Palestinian-American teacher ran anti-Muslim website
    • This is ridiculous, how can a person who ran an anti-Muslim website and uses violence against his victim not be charged with a hate crime?.. "The Civil Rights Act of 1968 enacted 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), which permits federal prosecution of anyone who "willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person's race, color, religion or national origin" [1] or because of the victim's attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting.
      Persons violating this law face a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both. If bodily injury results or if such acts of intimidation involve the use of firearms, explosives or fire, individuals can receive prison terms of up to 10 years".
      "Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights program"

  • Will assassination lead to war?
    • "The Yakhont missiles would represent a serious threat to Israeli interests in the Mediterranean; endangering both Israeli commercial vessels sailing in shipping lanes off the Lebanese coast and the ability of Israeli Navy ships to operate in and around Lebanese waters.

      Most significantly, the missiles would give Hezbollah the ability to strike Israel’s gas production platforms in the Mediterranean, a threat Israel reportedly intends to counter by installing maritime versions of the Iron Dome missile defense system on naval vessels as part of the Israeli Navy’s efforts to secure the country’s natural gas fields".
      Of course the iron dome system can only stop 5% of Hamas type rockets according to Professor Postol at MIT. The Yakhont missile has a range of 300 kilometers, the capacity to carry a 200-kilogram warhead and the unique ability of being able to cruise several metres above the water surface, making it difficult to detect and intercept.

    • These are not wars, they are premeditated massacres, during the last Israeli assault thousands of Gazans were killed and caused approx $8 billion dollars damage to Gazan infastructure, including 20,000 homes. In response Hamas fired approx 7,000 "rockets" into Israel [Professor Finkelstein called them 'roman candles'] these rockets [which had no navigational aids], were quite useless, since all they succeeded in doing was blowing up the desert. The aim of a war is to win militarily by causing the enemy such severe economic loss [while preserving your own] that your opponent sues for peace. Hamas cannot even hit Israels premier economic target Ben Gurion airport 20 sq k which at least could have the effect of severely disrupting Israel's economy. Hezbollah on the other hand have over 100,000 rockets and drones that, [according to Nasrallah] can reach every part of Israel [including Dimona] and Israel's military airports [Israel's main airbase Ramat David is less than 50 k from Lebanon's border] many of these rockets and drones have been supplied by Iran and have the latest GPS guidance systems. Hezbollah also have naval [including undersea] capabilities which threatens any ship entering Israeli ports, and also Israel's vulnerable gas rigs and storage facilities [Yakhont anti ship missiles].
      For these reasons it would be foolish for Israel to start a war with Hezbollah, here I am not saying the 'Dahiya doctrine' does not apply or that Israel's Generals will not attempt to use it, it's just that the doctrine of MAD [mutually assured destruction is more appropriate].

  • UNC SJP responds to ongoing debate over cancellation of Rania Khalek event
    • W.Jones, Good question, When "the West" and the whole of the MSM want regime change and call Assad a monster, it is difficult to argue against this group think. It is a fact that when newspapers like the Guardian have pro regime change opinion pieces , there has been tremendous pushback from the comments section. As for the left Chomsky said it best in 1915
      During a talk at Harvard in September 2015, and as he has repeated during other interviews, Chomsky believes the idea of conducting a humanitarian intervention in Syria is a red herring. Just about “every use of force is called humanitarian intervention” and almost always intervention is not humanitarian at all and is, in fact, “in the interest of those carrying out the force,” Chomsky said. From his point of view, in intervening in Syria, the United States has done little other than support the forces that are creating and sustaining the country’s “jihadist” movement.

    • The people who decided to cancel the speech by Rania Khalek should be ashamed of themselves, by listening to voices mainly in support of regime change in Syria and who support some of the most sectarian elements in the Middle East, they have stifled a valuable contribution to the debate.
      Another Phoney Oz Katerji of the Turkish State Broadcaster TRT World is one of “A tightly-knit network of Syrian regime change activists has composed a de facto blacklist of those who have refused to toe their ruthlessly enforced, hyper-sectarian ideological line,” journalist Max Blumenthal wrote. “Their goal is to deny the message by destroying the messenger.”

      According to Blumenthal, who has also had his professional career targeted by Katerji, he has “worked enthusiastically with Israeli aid organizations and demonized leading Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semites, including the founder of Electronic Intifada. He freely admits that a Canary Mission-style campaign is being organized to silence ideological foes like Rania".”

    • Idrees Ahmad one of the opposition to Rania Khalek, is a supporter of regime change in Syria, of course the replacement for Assad would be the Wahhabi head choppers who want all religeous minorities driven out of Syria, including the majority Sunni community who disagree with their barbaric rule. Here is an excellent Counterpunch article from Rick Sterling about this phoney revolutionary "Ahmad outdoes himself in the charge for war by claiming “Russian actions in Syria are an act of aggression against the country’s beleaguered people.” In contrast with his fantasy, virtually the entire Syrian population are hugely relieved and happy that Russia has started providing air support, modern laser guided weapons and satellite information to help reverse the tide.

      Those seeking direct US/NATO intervention in Syria describe the conflict as “weak Obama vs strong Putin”. They are unhappy and critical because the proxy army has failed to overthrow the Syrian government. They want direct invasion even if it risks world war. It’s a very dangerous and deluded mindset. Above all it profoundly ignores or distorts the wishes of the Syrian people who have consistently and increasingly made clear they do not support the violent opposition. Two years ago a poll commissioned by NATO revealed that 70% of the population supports the government".

  • UN bowed to 'fearmongering and threats' from powerful governments to cover up 'painful truth' of Israeli apartheid -- UN official's resignation letter
    • A UN spokesman on Friday claimed the issue with Khalaf was not the content of the report but as a result of her failure to follow the necessary procedure before the publication.

      "This is not about content, this is about process," said UN chief Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

      "The secretary-general cannot accept that an undersecretary-general or any other senior UN official that reports to him would authorise the publication under the UN name, under the UN logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself," he told reporters.

      Al Jazeera's Tyab said it was "highly unlikely" that the UN leadership was unaware of the report's existence or the language inside it before its publication.
      Whats going on here, the Sec Gen seems to be using breach of procedure [so called] to withdraw a report for what appear to be pure political motivations. Is it the Sec Generals job to serve the UN and all its members equally and without fear or favour?
      Apparently the executive summary is still on the UN website. It has a major error and differs from the full report.
      "Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 6.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory, 4.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip". Approx two million out.

  • UN agency labels Israel 'apartheid regime'-- and Israel likens organization to Nazis
    • Two tricks Israelis use to bamboozle the International community "The legal system of the State of Israel can be described as a weird mixture of advanced democracy and retrogressive discrimination, combined with clumsy attempts to hide the discriminatory reality. For example, in all Israeli laws except one, the Law of Return, the word "Jew" does not appear. The term employed when the law gives discriminatory privileges to Jews is that those privileges are granted to "persons who would have benefited from the Law of Return had they been outside the borders of Israel." The Law of Return specifies that its benefits can be given only to Jews. However, Israeli propagandists calculate, correctly in my view, that a great majority of the opponents of discrimination would not dare to criticize this law.

      The second trick, especially beloved by the Meretz Party and other "leftist" hypocrites, is to campaign for and then pass a high-sounding law in favor of equality or human rights. Such laws, however, always contain one little paragraph stating that their provisions will not affect any laws or regulations enacted in the past. The high-sounding preambles of the new laws then can be solemnly quoted without mentioning that since discriminatory laws and rules were passed in the 1950s and early 1960s (by Labor, of course), the new laws cannot change the existing discrimination. When one understands those two tricks, one comprehends that Israeli laws, and even more so government regulations on all possible subjects, are full of discriminatory measures which, if employed against Jews anywhere else in the world, would be regarded as anti-Semitic".

    • Those figures of Palestinians in occupied territories are from the executive summary . Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 6.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory, 4.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip. However the full report reads " Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 4.6 million Palestinians who live in theoccupied Palestinian territory, 2.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip"

    • Will they won't they? .... "US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it [the report] should be scrapped altogether.
      UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

      “The United States is outraged by the report,” said Haley in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

    • This could be a very useful report, however is the number of of Palestinians claimed in the West Bank correct? The report reads "Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 6.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory, 4.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip".
      Then 2 newspaper articles.. 1/ "The Civil Administration relies heavily on data from the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, which as of April 2016 has 2.9 million Palestinians listed as living in all of the West Bank, not including east Jerusalem", 2/ "The bulk of those Palestinians live in Areas A and B of the West Bank, which is under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority. The number of Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is expected to rise to equal the number of Jews in the same area by the end of 2017, at 6.58 million, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics claimed in figures it released on Thursday". Of course Apartheid can occur independent of numbers involved, in this instance even with the 300,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem added to that WB number, the figures seem out.

  • FIFA slammed by human rights defenders for failure to expel Israeli football clubs based in illegal settlements
    • echinococcus. Why then have the Palestinians [albeit after much soul searching] initiated a complaint at the ICC? When to do so, according to one Israeli General "constitutes an act of war"[General Mandelblit Wikileaks] Finally this from Professor Finkelstein.. “I’m an athiest but I do believe that God helps only those who help themselves. Palestinians will never get anything from Israel or the United States unless they force them to accept their demands by mass resistance,” Professor N Finkelstein.

    • John O, I partly agree with you, unfortunately Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party is acting under Abbas instructions. Can you remember a couple of years ago Abbas steadfastly refused to make a complaint to the ICC on the grounds that he is against the legal option, preferring to negotiate man to man with the Israelis. Ha! Then he does not support BDS "“No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” the Palestinian leader told a group of South African reporters on Monday.
      Of course Abbas is the sub contractor of the occupation, The Logic of Abbas the Monarch, Subcontractor of the Occupation
      "Abbas’ sane warning against falling into the trap of war evaporates due to his dictatorial conduct". On a personal note I have had disputes with The Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, a 'So called charity' who have access to vast amounts of money, who have refused me advice on 'labelling' issues [contrary to their charitable aims]and told me any court case would be very expensive and unless I could find the money, or I could get an NGO to stump up, they could not help me. One of their officers [the Treasurer] when told I would take a case myself actually said "Sorry we can't help without money, but best of luck to you"] My experience is that they are not a Charity at all, just a business. I have been to court three times over the years on these labelling offences, sometimes arguing fine points of International law with the Judges [I am not a Lawyer] I can tell you the LPHR are good at raising money and sending innocuous letters to various Government Ministers, but they will not take a case without being well paid for it.

    • Boo, The point I am making is If the Palestinians, who are directly affected by this shameful action by FIFA are not going to do anything about it, then why should anyone else? Do you remember the two court cases last year with Labour Party members taking the party to court over the rule book [contact law]. If the Israelis were treated like this you would never hear the end of it, and there would be court action, Guaranteed.

    • Either the Israelis are in breach of FIFA rules or they are not, I think the civil rules of contract are applicable here.
      FIFA co-operative agreement Article 39. Dispute resolution. Any disputes arising between the parties shall firstly be resolved through mediation. Should this prove impossible, the provisions of
      national law and the relevant FIFA rules shall apply.
      Unless the Palestinian football Association fight back, they would deserve to have sand kicked in their faces.

    • "FIFA’s failure to act against the Israeli settlement clubs renders it complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, and violates its own rules, which forbid member associations from playing in the territory of another member association without the latter’s permission".
      This sounds like a clear case of breach of FIFA's own rules, in which case what are the Palestinian Football Association going to do about it? As a member it can initiate a court case and compel FIFA to abide by its own rules. Or are the PFA too afraid of the consequences?

  • Human rights lawyer: Israel's new anti-BDS travel ban violates international law
    • The thing about International Law is that the 5 veto wielding states AND their friends are above International Law for all time.
      “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”
      But, on the other hand, Article 23 of the Charter grants five of its Members permanent
      seats on the Security Council, and Article 27 gives each of them a veto over decisions of the Council. Clearly, all Members are equal, but some Members are more equal than others.

  • All Palestinians can become Israeli citizens, but they can't vote, says lawmaker in Netanyahu's party
    • Here is an analogy to my Northern Ireland constitutional monstrosity. Imagine the state of California although an integral part of the USA, but anyone resident there was not allowed to vote for either Republican or Democratic candidates, instead they could only vote for candidates peculiar to California and with the added strain of those parties views conflicting as to whether California should become part of Mexico [Mexican Nationalist or American Unionist] or remain in the USA. That situation would be a recipe for trouble. Imagine [as in NI] Republican or Democratic residents of California who would normally vote along party lines, could not do so, therefore they would be mainly excluded from the decision making process in Washington conducted by those two major parties elected in the rest of the USA. I don't doubt there are better analogies, but I hope the Palestinians don't fall for anything like that or the Northern Irish second class citizen situation.
      Zohar should be congratulated for being honest about these things, other Zionists in Israel seem to think as Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield did that "Something will turn up".
      It will, but not to anyones liking.

    • One thing good thing Trump has brought to the Israel/Palestinian problem has been to concentrate the minds of Israeli lawmakers in the event that a one state solution is forced on the Palestinians. These interviews by Miki Zohar [a lawyer] and Yishai Fleisher, international spokesperson for the illegal settler community in Hebron. are so instructive, [thank you President Trump]. First thing is Zohar contradicts himself "Yes it is a democracy because they will get full rights and all the needs to get to prospect and to succeed here in this country. But they won’t be able to vote to the Knesset. But my idea is that we can let them to vote to the Knesset with only three things that they need to do like every other citizen. One, to go the army or to go serve the country, like everyone else here in Israel is obligated to do". That's only one thing, what are the other two requirements? If joining the army is a condition in order to vote, then that is indirect racial discrimination [imposing a condition on Palestinians which is not applicable to others in the community]. Scott Roth and Phil Weiss are correct when they say Zohars views are "just as old as Jim Crow and apartheid and white supremacy". Fleisers views are more inflammatory one of which “Jordan is Palestine.” Palestinians in the West Bank would be given Jordanian citizenship, with democratic rights there, “but live as expats with civil rights in Israel.” "encourage emigration" and "offer compensation to emigrate voluntarily". Ah! the transfer solution. Those that can't be encouraged to leave will live in Bantustans and "administer" themselves, Gazan's will live in another Bantustan but called an "emirate", Naftali Bennett gave similar Bantustan solutions a few weeks ago. You just could not make this up. Give them credit though, they have been honest, and people should thank them for setting out their Zionist vision, which incidentally will horrify the rest of the world.
      It may not horrify British residents of Northern Ireland [NI] who were put into a British Bantustan when the Northern Irish electorate were forced into governing Northern Ireland with administrative devolution in the 1920's [they wanted to be governed as any other part of the UK from Westminster, realizing that this inappropriate constitutional arrangement meant in practice Protestants governing Catholics, with all its explosive potential, which did eventually do just that in the late nineteen sixties]. It is only recently that residents in NI have had the chance to join and vote for the parties that actually govern them, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats. Recently the Labour Party have formed the Province wide "Labour Party forum" in NI which for the first time enables British citizens resident in NI the opportunity to join the party as full members and consider standing as candidates against the sectarian Catholic and Protestant parties, enabling them to transcend those tribal politics foisted on the electorate in the 1920's. Think about that situation, because you could not vote for one of the major parties governing you, and had no alternative other than to vote for one of the local provincial parties, you effectively had no vote. Of course NI did send 12 MP's [now 18] usually 10 or 11 Ulster Unionists and 1 or 2 Irish Nationalists to Westminster but they could only influence the major parties in the event of a hung parliament, which in turn placed those parties in the unenviable position of having to do deals with those sectarian parties which their predecessors insisted should govern NI to the exclusion of their rights and constituents rights at Westminster. The moral of the story is, the Palestinians will be offered many novel constitutional arrangements, like the NI electorate, they must insist, 1/ If they cannot have a two state solution based on full Palestinian sovereignty based on the 67 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, then a one state solution with full civil rights including the right to vote in the Knesset will be the only alternative.

  • A Palestinian state has always been a fiction for Zionists
    • "Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population.
      Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach". This from Jabotinsky's 'Iron Wall' [1923]. Netanyahu has said recently that Israel will forever live by the sword, he has also said there will not be a Palestinian state on his watch.
      Naftali Bennett has said the most Palestinians can expect is to administer areas A and B [without sovereignty], and if they refuse, then they can be compelled to.
      The number of Palestinians West of the Jordan river is approx 50/50 with people of Jewish origin. The Israeli government do not want to annex the West Bank prematurely, [being more than happy to occupy the land whilst claiming sovereignty and building more facts on the ground]. The Israelis are heading toward full blown Apartheid but don't seem to care, they don't care because they think whatever they do the 'West' will give them a pass. They can be excused that assumption because almost 50 years of Israeli war crimes has only been met with severe sanctions such as 'This is unhelpful'. They also assume [not incorrectly] that Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries will throw the Palestinians under the bus when it comes to aligning with Israel to counteract the Iranian "threat". If Netanyahu's promise of living forever by the sword is true, and it has to be accepted that some problems can never be solved short of war, and since the Palestinians on their own cannot physically defeat Israel, a larger and more formidable foe in the shape of the 'arc' of resistance is looming ahead, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah are growing in strength every day. That is why Iran is Israel's number one target. Iran a nation of 80 million people, fiercely independent, self sufficient in arms manufacturing and rich in oil and gas, it supplies Hezbollah with state of the art missiles [with GPS] and more than the where with all to lay waste to Israel's vital infrastructure situated mainly within the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. In fact Hezbollah alone could do that, Nasrallah has also threatened to destroy the Dimona nuclear site. Are the Israelis foolish enough to try to implement the 'Land of Israel' Zionist dream or will they come to their senses and recognize Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank including East Jerusalem.I am not holding my breath. By the way, how is the PA [slam dunk]complaint to the ICC proceeding, last I heard was it could take 12 years.

  • 'NYT' runs U.S. propaganda on Russian crimes-- without even a comment thread
    • Harold Pinter when accepting his Nobel Prize had a dig at the "exceptional" nation..
      "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them," Mr. Pinter said. "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."

  • Sports and the Palestinian BDS struggle: Palestine v. Israel at FIFA
    • Correction to my comment above, should be Article 8 Geneva Conventions. The Oslo accords do not override the Geneva Conventions Art. 8. Protected persons may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.

    • Several months ago IFA Legal advisor Efraim Barak said “The same holds true for clubs located in places whose final status is to be determined, according to valid agreements between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in negotiations between these parties, and which are currently under the authority of the State of Israel.”
      Barak here was referring to the interim agreement between the Israeli Government and the PA, [the Oslo accords] International law is supreme in the case of an occupation and a ‘technical arrangement of a political agreement does not outway provisions in International law. According to the Geneva Conventions, the beneficiaries [the local ‘protected’ Palestinian population GC Article 4] are not allowed to waive the rights granted to them under those laws. The Israeli state’s reliance on the provisions of the interim Agreement in order to validate the illegal and to render it legal, lacks any legal basis.
      Omar Barghouti should know this.

  • Name the six countries the U.S. is bombing in the Middle East
    • The US will not walk away from the region [as Jimmy Carter said "Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force"]. Condoleezza Rice warned of the 'arc of resistance' made up of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon [Hezbollah] and wanted to back the Sunni regimes [Saudi Arabia and other GCC states] hence the support for Syrian regime change in 2007 Seymour Hersh wrote an article detailing how the George Bush administration wanted the Middle East to look like "The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda". Of course Islamic state is a step too far for the US, although maybe not for Saudi Arabia or Qatar who continue to clandestinely fund them. Because of the massive arms sales and other economic interests the GCC have with the US, also their willingness to align with Israel in confronting Iran, it is easy to see which side [in the short term the US will back] in my opinion these Monarchies are on the wrong side of history and when the Iraqis and Syrians smash Islamic state with the help of Russia, a new Middle East will appear. One not to the liking of either Israel, Saudi Arabia or the US.

  • Campus wars
    • What is needed is for more students to fight back, administrators trying to intimidate students does work in many instances, but the many who see the implications for free speech are usually galvanized into action, which can only rebound on the Administrators. Many University Administrators not only breach the US constitution and natural justice, but also in many cases breach their own Universities rules. Thank goodness for groups like Palestine legal, who should be called on by any University group wishing to either host a Palestinian speaker or start a group.

  • Tom Friedman begs Trump to 'save the Jews' from themselves
    • Since the Saudis and other GCC countries are second only to Israel as the US's next best allies in the region, one does wonder at the importance of democracy in Israel. Saudi Arabia has no semblance of democracy or civil or human rights, nor does it intend having any in the foreseeable future, it also has a well paid lobby in Washington. Could the growing alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia, other GCC counties and the US portend a middle east not dissimilar from the G Bush and Condi Rice version outlined by Seymour Hersh in the 'Redirection'

    • Because the Israelis claim sovereignty over the 'whole' of the Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, and lately the Golan Heights, but not the Gaza strip. What is to happen to the Palestinians between the Jordan river and the sea? Naftali Bennett thinks Area C which comprises 60% of the West Bank with few Palestinians in it can be annexed to Israel, and that the PA leadership can be persuaded or forced to 'administer' areas A and B without any sovereign rights, and presumably no voting rights in the Knesset. This is all so reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa and Bantustans. The Palestinians [somewhere down the line] will be presented with some constitutional monstrosity so that they can gain some autonomy and deemed by Israel/US the best that can be offered in the circumstances. No doubt some Palestinians could go along with such an arrangement [for a price]. Some observers [perhaps uncharitably] have claimed Abbas would settle for a s---house in the desert provided it had a Palestinian flag on it, Netanyahu would concede that much, but without the sovereignty. I am reminded of a similar situation in the constitutional relationship between Northern Ireland citizens and the rest of the UK. Between 1920 and almost to the present day, although on paper they were full British citizens, nobody resident in the province could join or vote for the major UK parties actually governing them i.e. Labour, Conservative or SDP, they could of course vote for various sectarian MP's to represent them in Westminster but they numbered only 12 now 18 [usually 10 or 11 Unionist and 1 or 2 Nationalist]. The Major parties were reluctant to associate with either sectarian block and only did so when there was a hung parliament. As a consequence they had no effect on the overall governance of the state in effect their votes were meaningless. The Palestinians would do well to guard against any such gerrymandering the British 'Mother' of Parliaments engaged in.

  • 'NYT' runs Israeli's op-ed recommending that Palestinians 'emigrate voluntarily'
    • "Thus we conclude that we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say “no” and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy."
      In the first place, if anyone objects that this point of view is immoral, I answer: It is not true; either Zionism is moral and just or it is immoral and unjust. But that is a question that we should have settled before we became Zionists. Actually we have settled that question, and in the affirmative.

      We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmet agree with it or not.

      There is no other morality.

      Vladimir Jabotinsky 'The Iron Wall'

  • Trump says he's 'happy' with one-state outcome, ringing in a new era
    • JoeSmack. One thing Trump's intervention has achieved, it has put the one state issue clearly on the table.
      A one state solution inevitably begs the question, do you mean civil and Human rights for all?
      That question is a no no and fatal for Zionists , but it is inevitable, and it must be answered.
      To answer in the affirmative [which any true Democrat would] means not only the loss of the "Jewish State" but the possible loss of even a Jewish majority between the river and the sea.
      No doubt Zionists will try to come up with some fancy constitutional arrangements which will preserve their sovereign"right" to the whole of Palestine and their unfettered right to govern Palestinians as second class citizens. This is where they are in a bind, they cannot relinquish sovereignty over any part of Judea or Samaria [that's in Israels DNA] nor can they give Palestinians full civil rights.
      All roads lead to Apartheid. Its their own fault.

    • “So I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said. In some ways this was rather a neutral statement, who couldn’t approve of a solution favoured by both? Unfortunately the Israelis claim sovereignty over the whole of the ‘Land of Israel’ and with Gaza being part of the Palestinian electorate, any one state solution with equal rights would mean an approx 50% electorate of Jewish origin, and 50% Palestinian between the river and the sea. With perhaps a Palestinian majority within the next 10 years. Of course no Israeli leader has that eventuality in mind. Naftali Bennett blurted it out a few weeks ago, then he called for the annexation of area C and for areas A and B to be administered [with no sovereignty] by the Palestinian Authority in other words bantustans and Apartheid.

  • Trump pick for ambassador to Israel continues to fund settlement construction in the West Bank
    • It is becoming plain what the Israeli state has in store for Palestinians in the "Land of Israel".
      Naftali Bennett calls for the annexation of area C and for areas A and B to be administered [with no sovereignty] by the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile.. "Israel’s firebrand minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman has said that all Palestinians should leave the entity and live in the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.

      Speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 on Saturday, Lieberman said the Palestinians living in Israeli cities and towns should be made to go and live in the occupied West Bank under the authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.

      “With my blessing: You are Palestinians, you should go to Abu Mazen. You’ll be citizens of the Palestinian Authority. He’ll pay you unemployment benefits, health benefits, maternity benefits, hanging around benefits,” he said derogatorily, using a nickname for Abbas".
      Lieberman is talking expulsion while he himself lives in a settlement in the West Bank. You could not make this nonsense up.

    • I would have thought it obvious that the other three veto wielding members had the same rights, and since this site is dedicated to solving the Israel/Palestinian problem, and the US and to a lesser extent the UK are the principal opponents of a just resolution of same based on International Law, my singling out of them, is, I think, legitimate.

    • It is to be hoped they do better than the British challenge to the legitimacy of the JNF who could not get the courts to agree they had 'standing'.

    • just, this goes to prove once again that because the US [thanks to its veto] is above International Law for all time, the same also applies to its friend Israel.
      In the 1940's the United States and Britain led efforts to replace a world of chaos and conflict with a new, rules based system. Roosevelt and Churchill built into the architecture of the United Nations the principal that the US and UK are above the rules for all time. They accorded themselves permanent seats on the Security Council, the only United Nations body with any authority, and gave themselves a veto on decisions of the Council. The result is that they can engage in aggression against other states, as and when they like, without fear of a slap on the wrist by the Council let alone being subject to economic sanctions or military action mandated by the Council. In theory all members are equal, but some members are more equal than others.

    • just.. "Meanwhile, Fatou Bensouda is also sitting on her butt". Could this be the reason? "U.S. President George Bush today signed into law the American Service members Protection Act of 2002, which is intended to intimidate countries that ratify the treaty for the International Criminal Court (ICC). The new law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American OR CITIZEN OF AN -ALLIED COUNTRY being held by the court, which is located in The Hague. This provision, dubbed the "Hague invasion clause," has caused a strong reaction from U.S. allies around the world, particularly in the Netherlands".
      Can you see Fatou and her staff holding out at her office in the Hague, Kalashnikov in hand repelling seal team 6?

    • Not only against US policy in Israel/Palestine but US Law
      The rule concerning the use of tax exempt entities as conduit organizations is clear, and states that “the code would be nullified if contributions inevitably committed to a foreign organization were held to be deductible solely because, in the course of transmittal to a foreign organization, they came to rest momentarily in a qualifying domestic organization” (Section 170(c)(2)(A)). That is exactly the case with American Friends of Ariel Inc., and hundreds of organizations like it, a fact which is abundantly clear upon review of their publicly available 990 tax forms.
      The raison d’etre of illegal Israeli settlements is rooted in institutionalized discrimination, and therefore technically violates IRS regulations on a daily basis in the same way that Bob Jones University violated those same regulations barring discrimination (Bob Jones University v United States).
      see also

  • Why Trump is even thinking about naming pro-Israel apparatchik who opposed him to high position
    • Trumps mantra should be "I aim to make Israel great[er] again". He seems to be doubling down on the Israel/Sunni Muslim [GCC] configuration. Seymour Hersh wrote about this in 'The Redirection' Israel and Saudi Arabia are certainly coming together, both as a result of the growing 'arc of resistance' in the form of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq and Yemen, backed by Russia and China. The latter's silk road, and other investments in Iran mean it is no insignificant player in the region, and in the political power both groups [Israel/Saudi] have on the US political process. Unfortunately for US/Israel the arc is growing stronger by the day as a result of the financial and technological prowess of Iran, hence the hysterical outpourings of hatred towards them. In many ways they are right the Saudis nor the Israelis will cede power to Iran, their crowns and territorial ambitions depend on it, it will be Iran or Israel/Saudi Arabia who will have hegemony over the region. My bet is on the Iranians and the 'arc'.

  • In Trump’s world, money talks, and Saudi Arabia gets a free pass
    • This all proves US actions in the Middle East are driven by economics and brute power. Naive souls think it is for democracy and civil rights, baloney! The bottom line is what's good [or what the powers that be regard as good] for the USA. Many Politicians [Obama amongst them regard the US as 'the exceptional Nation' it is this fatal mindset which will lead it into war after war. If Iran is next in line, the long term costs of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars which were slated by Linda Bilmes [at the Kennedy Law School, Harvard University] to be 6 trillion dollars $6,000,000,000,000, should be instructive, a war with Iran would make that figure chump change, as well as destroying the Middle East together with all the nations economies dependent on oil from there. Before the US election Trump was mindful of these costs when he said, those trillions spent on the Iraq war could have built the infrastructure of the US twice over. Does he have a short memory or is he a typical US Politician?

  • Dennis Ross's advice to Trump is 'bullshit, delusional or lying,' to gut two-state concept -- Peace Now
    • Eva, "It will be Zionists who will decide who votes" I agree with you, Naftali Bennett wants to see areas A and B in the West Bank as semi autonomous zones without sovereignty, and administered by the Palestinians. No Knesset membership for them of course, they may be allowed to vote for the local PA or Hamas representative etc. Similar to the Bantustans in South Africa. Of course this is not entirely without precedent, here in the mother of Parliaments the United Kingdom of Gt Britain and Northern Ireland, one and a half million UK citizens were not allowed to vote for the parties that governed them. The Labour, Conservative and LibDem Parties, until just recently, refused to let residents of N Ireland join their parties as members or contest elections there, therefore no one in N Ireland could vote for the political parties that actually governed them at Westminster, essentially they had no vote. Bennett could be trying to pull the same stunt in the West Bank, how many will go along with him, when he can, along with the International community, guarantee those collaborating types unlimited funding?

  • Danwatch: Major EU pension funds invest billions in businesses linked to Israeli settlements
    • The bottom line is that Pension fund investors have obligations to their pension fund contributors "Fiduciary obligations exist to ensure that those who manage other people’s money act responsibly in the interests of savers (clients or beneficiaries), rather than serving their own interests. The nature of the fiduciary relationship means that a fiduciary is expected to be loyal to the person to whom he or she owes the duty". file:///C:/Users/H/AppData/Local/Temp/3.Responsibleinvestmentandfiduciaryduty-1.pdf
      Similarly the occupier has a duty [under International law] to 'administer' those immovable natural resources [not sell them] sand and gravel [which are owned by the Palestinians] and ensure the capital is not depleted or harmed [as per Article 55, Hague Regulations]. Reparations could be claimed [the PA has warned investors about this]. Remember Germany has paid out billions and are still doing so in reparations to Jewish owned businesses and other misappropriated property during WW2.

    • UNSC Resolution 1483 in 2003 set out how the UK/US coalition must use immovable minerals such as Iraqi oil [still in the ground, as opposed to extracted oil already in tanks] under article 55 of the Hague Regulations, similar to the sand and gravel mentioned in my comment above.
      UNSC Resolution 1483 section 20. Decides
      "That all export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and
      natural gas from Iraq following the date of the adoption of this resolution shall be
      made consistent with prevailing international market best practices, to be audited by
      independent public accountants reporting to the International Advisory and
      Monitoring Board referred to in paragraph 12 above in order to ensure transparency,
      decides further
      that, except as provided in paragraph 21 below, all proceeds
      from such sales shall be deposited into the Development Fund for Iraq until such
      time as an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq is properly

    • It is the legal consensus that under the Hague Regulations Article 55 it is impermissible to use or harm the capital of the property, which is under a sort of trust, therefore... "The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct". see also Democratic Republic of Congo v Uganda [ICJ]

    • Norway is not a member of the European Union, however it is a part of the European Economic Area, which does not exempt it from recent UNSC Resolutions or other ethical or business considerations. The other pension funds should be put under pressure from the beneficiaries of the fund since they are directly at risk. Here is what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in conjunction with the Dept of Trade said when implementing EU guide lines on trade with the settlements...
      "Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurement's 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.
      That legal advice should warn the pension fund about one of the companies involved Heidelberg Cement, which excavates sand and gravel from quarries in the West Bank [in effect stolen property]. They could be subject to substantial reparations in the near future. If I was a pension fund beneficiary I would demand a stop to this investment.

  • Rallies at White House and airports across the US as outrage builds over Muslim ban
  • Burying bad news in the killing fields of Yemen
    • Good job Turkey never signed on to buy the US F35c, the naval version costs $337 million dollars per plane. Turkey may have been able to buy one of its wings.
      "A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a 'generic' F-35 costs $178 million," Wheeler wrote.

      "It gets worse. These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included,",

  • Trump's anti-interventionism helped him win, says Obama's former Middle East adviser
    • "The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene. We must be strong, smart and hard-headed. And we must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests.
      This statement by PM T May is contradictory, the attempt to make other countries in our own image is fine, but 'if it is in our interests to intervene', then she will do it. The interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria were not prompted by humanitarianism or democracy, those interventions served larger geopolitical "interests". In the case of Iraq and Syria the isolation and eventual confrontation with Iran is top of the agenda. The neocon mantra at the time of the Iraqi invasion was “Anyone can go to Baghdad, Real men go to Tehran.” Senior Bush Official. Anti intervention is a winner these days because the US/UK intervention in Iraq not only was a catastrophic failure in that Iran's influence has grown exponentially in the region, also some US Generals think Iraq was the biggest mistake in American military history, this together with the Afghanistan intervention mean these wars will have cost the US taxpayer $6 Trillion dollars, that is $6,000,000,000,000 when all costs are taken into account [Linda Bilmes Kennedy Law School, Harvard Uni] Trump said these figures could have rebuilt the infrastructure of the US twice over. My appeal to our Prime Minister is, spare us the hypocritical soundbites and do something useful, for a start stop arming the Saudis who are committing war crimes in Yemen and the so called "moderate" terrorists in Syria.

  • Signs you may be a 'normalizer'
    • Professor Finkelstein..."In Nazi occupied Europe most of the populations made the choice to live under the Nazis, all this talk about a French resistance is just a joke, it never happened about 20% of the French population read the resistances newspaper, there were maybe 10% of the French who resisted, the rest said don't resist because the Nazis were ruthless. You resist, four hundred are killed for each soldier who is killed, that's how the Nazis operated, so most of the French said "we want to live" don't resist. In retrospect who do we honor, those who say "we want to live" or those who say "let's resist"?

  • Leading Clintonite worries that Trump will sell out Israel in forging deal with Russia
    • This wacky idea [safe zone] is something Trump floated during the campaign, when he averred that he would create a “big beautiful safe zone” in war-torn Syria. Vice President Pence also endorsed the idea in his debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine. And the neoconservative faction of the GOP – which bitterly opposed Trump during the campaign, and continues to do so to this day – issued one of their frequent “open letters” demanding the establishment of a safe zone in conjunction with increased support for the “moderate” Islamist rebel campaign to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

      A viable space for such a zone is the area currently controlled by the Islamist rebels: the towns of Jarablus and Azaz and surrounding area, next to the Turkish border. Establishing a “safe zone” here would, in effect, carve out a mini-state under the control of Islamists, most of whom are indistinguishable from al-Qaeda and ISIS. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, the reality of what this would have to mean was outlined:

      “Thousands of U.S. ground forces would be needed, even if positioned outside Syria, to support those physically defending the zones. A limited no-fly zone coupled with US ground forces would push the costs over one billion dollars per month.”

      John Kerry, citing Department of Defense estimates, testified that “safe zones” would require up to 30,000 troops on the ground.

    • Keith, I don't want to split hairs but 'safe zones' are usually areas where bombs cannot be dropped on the area, essentially 'no fly zones'. I agree with you in the sense that for instance, whenever the UK government want to shelve an idea, they give it to a committee [that committee will sometimes sit on it for years] 90 days is a long time in politics , then the idea is sometimes deemed not so good through change of circumstances, then quietly dropped.
      Trump of course never shoots from the hip,sure he doesn't, for instance it could be his call to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem was not to be taken seriously? Maybe he can give that move to a committee to be resolved at their leisure, but not too soon?

    • Last year she [Flournoy] advocated for a far more aggressive U.S. intervention in Syria against Bashar al-Assad and ISIS, which she styled as “limited military coercion,” including enforcing a “no-bombing” zone in areas controlled by rebels. This nonsense was flushed out at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing...Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) asked about what it would take for the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, using the phrase “control the airspace.”

      “Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.
      Trump now is thinking along the same lines as Flournoy, he has given his military advisors 90 days to come up with a plan. Harold Wilson [former UK, PM] once said a week is a long time in politics, 90 days is a lifetime.

  • MIT President meets with rightwing pro-settlement Israeli leader
    • Bennett proposes his solution by advocating autonomous areas for Palestinians in areas A and B, with no sovereignty, no military or control its borders, i.e, Bantustans...
      "First, we would work to upgrade the Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank, in the areas largely under Palestinian control (known as Areas A and B, according to the Oslo Accords). Ideally, this will be done in coordination with the Palestinian Authority".
      And left unsaid..if not done in coordination with the Palestinians? Well, it will be done without their consent, as is happening now. Jabotinsky is alive and well.

  • Palestinians: Israeli government 'exploiting' new US administration with new 2,500 settlement units
    • The 'West' has no intention of taking action against Israel for these gross abuses of International law and Human Rights. The US has made that clear with an increased $38 billion subsidy over the next10 years. Similarly the European Union have the means to punish Israel by invoking the Human Rights clauses enshrined in the EU/Israel Association Agreement.
      There is no political will to want to change things, far easier for politicians to kick the can down the road in the hope that the inevitable train crash will not happen, or if it does, they are safely out of office, this is cowardice of the first order, and will result in horrendous wars and suffering to come in the not too distant future.

  • Despite international pressure, Finkelstein gives talk on Gaza's 'martyrdom' at German institute
    • Professor Finkelsteins political opinions are based on facts, logic and International law, things Zionists are afraid of. I watched him debate with a particularly ignorant Zionist on Press TV some time ago and he likened the debate as between an Astrophysicist and a member of the flat earth society. Very apt.

    • Max Planck Institute.. "and it is one of our tasks to introduce our young scientists to controversial academic discourse": Its not really controversial, reports from various United Nations investigations into the massacres in Gaza have indicated that war crimes have been committed by Israel. Also that because Israel controls Gaza it is still occupied territory. Because occupation should only be temporary, an occupation lasting 50 years is illegal. These issues are so "controversial" that almost every state at the UN accepts them as facts, only Israel disputes them. Where's the controversy?

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
  • Trump 'promise' to move US embassy to Jerusalem stirs international furor
    • Yes Annie As you said in one of your comments on another thread, Joe Biden told the truth to those Harvard University students..
      With the help of then British Foreign Secretary William Hague, it was through the Friends of Syria that Clinton was able to create the political smokescreen necessary to coordinate arms and financial aid between the GCC and Turkey, as well as through the fledgling US puppet government in Libya in 2012 which no doubt included funneling ex-Gaddafi arms stock and Jihadist guerrilla fighters from Libya to their new-found rebel fighting force in Syria, a CIA-run covert operation which eventually cost the lives of Americans in Benghazi including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

  • International law, the United Nations and Palestine
    • How can any of this be seen as consistent with international law? Answer, it can't, but that does not matter for the United States who, along with their friends are, at any given moment in time above International Law for all time. When the architecture for the United Nations was put in place by the US/UK, Stalin accepted it with the knowledge that the USSR would also have veto power on any Resolutions, France was added to balance out China. In the event that any group or Individual state should gang up on another member[s] of the five then the veto is used and that Resolution goes down the memory hole, it might be embarrassing, but that's all it is. This was the reason the coalition of the willing US/UK was able to use aggression against Iraq without France, Russia or China being able to do anything about it. [see ]. How about the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in the Hague] same thing, ignore any judgement [see Nicaragua v USA ICJ] As for the ICC the 'Hague invasion act' should take care of that...The new law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the court, which is located in The Hague. This provision, dubbed the "Hague invasion clause," has caused a strong reaction from U.S. allies around the world, particularly in the Netherlands. Depressing is it not. It would appear the US [like Israel, Netanyahu did say Israel will live by the sword] want a world where might is right, that may work for a time, or until another state or group of states come along [think Russia, China and Iran] to disabuse them of that notion.

  • Before there was 'fake news' there was Judith Miller
    • Maybe there is a medical condition associated with this woman's lack of awareness. Someone should remind her that before she goes to sleep tonight, just remember the one million dead and the grieving millions her lies caused. But then her condition might mean she also does not care.

  • 'Constructed crisis for political ends': anti-Semitism claims are prime weapon for UK Israel lobby, Al Jazeera shows
    • Michael Foster doner of £400,000 to the Labour Party was eventually suspended from the Party for calling Corbyn supporters Nazi storm troopers.

    • There is no Anti-Semitism in Britain, Jerry Lewis .... when police were called to University College London to investigate disturbances, Lewis admits they were caused by Jewish extremists paid for by they Israeli government putting Jewish students at risk.

    • According to many Israeli supporters Anti-Semitism is defined thus: "I think if it makes you feel uncomfortable, I think that's the point which you call it out and report it, and that's why Joan convinced me to report the one yesterday because I was made to feel uncomfortable, and although nothing anti-Semitic was said I'm sure there were undertones of it and it was brought up on that context." In other words criticism of Israeli Government war crimes including settlement building could be construed as Anti-Semitic, if the recipient of the criticism feels uncomfortable. Which they obviously would.
      Ilan Pappe said "They are really scratching the bottom of the barrel to make a list of two and a half cases of anti-Semitism … they themselves are not totally sure that they fall into their own strict definition of anti-Semitism."
      Pappe added: "It's in a way pathetic, but it's also worrying how such pathetic evidence can be used to intimidate Jeremy Corbyn into establishing an inquiry commission and making daily confessions that he's not anti-Semitic and so on." My only complaint with Corbyn is he did not fight the charges vigorously enough, he knows what's going on.
      During that Labour Party Conference in Liverpool Professor Jonathan Rosenhead had this to say on Antisemitism .
      “In response to a moral panic about Left anti-Semitism seemingly expanding without limit, the group Free Speech on Israel coalesced in April out of a loosely-knit band of Jewish Labour Party supporters. Some 15 of us got together at a couple of days’ notice for the inaugural gathering. We found that over our lifetimes we could muster only a handful of antisemitic experiences between us. And, crucially, although in aggregate we had hundreds of years of Labour Party membership, no single one of us had ever experienced an incident of antisemitism in the Party.
      Some time in May the ex-Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was interviewed on Radio 4 about the antisemitism ‘crisis’ by now gripping the nation. Helpfully his interviewer invited him to share some of his own personal experiences of antisemitism. His response, from memory ran rather like this: “Well….actually I have never experienced antisemitism myself. Which is odd, because most people know that the Chief Rabbi is Jewish”.

  • Almost 1 million Syrian children can't go to school
    • Annie, This Aljazeera piece said over 1 and half million "Ehden, Lebanon - More than 1.5 million Syrian refugees have made Lebanon their temporary home, but now, newly elected President Michel Aoun is vowing to send them back to their country, still in the throes of a civil war with no end in sight.

      "There will be no solution in Syria without the return of the Syrian refugees to their country," Aoun said in his inaugural speech this week. "The issue of the Syrian refugees should be resolved as soon as possible."
      More information about those bastions of democracy Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty tents with air conditioning with accommodation for 3 million refugees. ZERO Syrians.

    • Commendable article, Those refugees in Lebanon are a direct result of the US and GCC states regime change machinations against Syria initiated before 2011 by US Ambassador Robert Ford.
      "Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.
      Ford assured us that those taking up arms to overthrow the Syrian government were simply moderates and democrats seeking to change Syria’s autocratic system. Anyone pointing out the obviously Islamist extremist nature of the rebellion and the foreign funding and backing for the jihadists was written off as an Assad apologist or worse"

      It should not be forgotten the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is over 1 and a half million, a quarter of the total population, how would the US electorate act if 80 million refugess came to the US within a short space of time? Also one of the causes of the carnage in Syria, and major funder of the Wahhabi head choppers is Saudi Arabia. Do you know how many Syrian refugees the Saudis billionaires have taken in? None.

  • To be successful the French Peace Initiative must be based on international law and human rights
    • " Palestinians cannot be expected to return to the negotiating table while Israel continues to act with impunity and the world stands idly by". The problem is that the Palestinian leadership have returned to the negotiating table time and again for the past 20 odd years. Whose fault is that? The US/Israel having fooled Abbas many times expect [with good reason] to do it again. All Israeli leaders just want time to implement their schemes. The settlement enterprise, according to the UNSC and the International Court of Justice [ICJ] are illegitimate / unlawful, but the UNSC will not take action [US veto] and the ICJ action was only an opinion. What we are left with is the action at the ICC, the only body in the International arena which has the capacity to prosecute the Israeli leadership, why is not more pressure put on the ICC in the Hague to expedite the case on this crucial question? Last I heard it could take 12 years to bring the case to trial, if it ever gets there. Ridiculous!

  • Origins of a golden shower
    • You are presuming I am not part of the 1%, I have never received a golden shower but I have unfortunately been shat on many times. My initial comment was a snark. Love your work.

    • Definite snark, must confess purloined from Craig Murray blog "Given Trump’s wealth and history, I think we can say with confidence that he has indulged whatever his sexual preferences might be all over the world and not just in Russia. It seems most improbable he would succumb to blackmail over it and not brazen it out. I suppose it could be taken as the sole example of trickledown theory actually working".

    • Katie, I think you misunderstand or are very naughty, what's happened here is that Trump's idea of capitalism is that if the rich get richer then the 99% inevitably benefit Trump's economic theory is used to describe the belief that if high income earners gain an increase in salary, then everyone in the economy will benefit as their increased income and wealth filter through to all sections in society. Its called the trickle down effect.

  • Why Israel wants us to say 'terror'
    • The problem here is that many in the Israeli government do not think they are occupiers, they think the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] are sovereign Israeli territory, even when the Israeli Supreme court have on numerous occasions ruled that the West Bank is occupied territory.
      This is the crux of the matter, if it is not occupied territory then ipso facto it is an act of terrorism, or it is possible to argue that it is. If it is occupied territory [as every country in the World thinks it is] then it is not terrorism. The UN General assembly acknowledges this "among these legal forms of violence there is also the right to use force in the struggle for “liberation from colonial and foreign domination”. To quote United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:

      “2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;” (3)

      This justification for legitimate armed resistance has been specifically applied to the Palestinian struggle repeatedly. To quote General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974:

      3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle; …
      7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people"

  • US watched ISIS rise in Syria and hoped to 'manage' it -- Kerry on leaked tape
    • Of course this is not just about Syria, the real prize is Iran, who just happen to be the leaders of the 'arc of extremism'' or as I prefer the 'arc of resistance'. Syria is but the low hanging fruit, on route to taking out Hezbollah, the Jihadis hate Hezbollah [Shia] with a vengeance and they have promised to destroy them after the fall of Assad, hence Hezbollah's entry into Syria, the defeat of the head choppers is existential for them. The defeat of Assad therefore in geo-strategic terms is simple, it had to be simple because George Bush put forward the plan backed by Saudia Arabia and Israel and described by Seymore Hersh in the 'Redirection' here He describes how backing the Sunni against the Shia would empower the GCC states [who are but vassals to the US] and solidify US hegenomy in the region for generations to come. Enter Russia to foil the plan, now it is easy to see why the US is going ape shit, all their regime change scheming is coming to nought, they have backed the wrong side again. In my opinion Iran, if need be, could, and would field millions of Iranian troops into Syria to ensure it is only Syrians who can decide the fate of Syria, and not the sectarian GCC states plus Turkey ganging up against Syria with the assistance of the Neocon policies of the US, the Russians and Chinese agree with that.

    • Of course the US regime change operation in Syria has been ongoing since well before 2011.
      More e mails ....
      Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.
      Ford assured us that those taking up arms to overthrow the Syrian government were simply moderates and democrats seeking to change Syria’s autocratic system. Anyone pointing out the obviously Islamist extremist nature of the rebellion and the foreign funding and backing for the jihadists was written off as an Assad apologist or worse.
      Then late last year the McClatchy News Service ran an article in which Ambassador Ford admitted that his “moderates” regularly collaborated with ISIS and al-Qaeda to the point where he no longer thought the US government should be arming them.
      So those who pointed out that the rebellion in Syria was foreign-driven and jihadist from the start were no longer crazy conspiracy theorists, but were rather conspiracy factists.

    • eljay, "Russia (allegedly) attempts to influence one American election outcome and the U.S. hypocritically is beside itself with moral outrage". It was the Democratic Party leadership that maliciously influenced the US elections and shot themselves in both feet as revealed in the Podesta e mails 1/ Denigrating Bernie Sanders in favour of Clinton 2/ Having the debating questions given to Clinton ahead of the debates by Donna Brazile a commentator at CNN. At the time, Brazile was vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which should be neutral during the primary. She has since become the acting DNC chair, after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down amid a separate leak of internal DNC emails, which appeared to show DNC staffers favouring Clinton over Sanders. 3/ Revealing some of the content of speeches to the Wall St banks where she said she had a public and a private position on these institutions. 4/ No fly zones over Syria, which could have resulted in WW3.
      This whole "Russia did it" episode is a tactic to deflect from the true wreckers of the US electoral process, the Democratic Party Leadership.

    • This is a good article, for Syria watchers the fact that the US has used Islamic state for its regime change purposes is irrefutable, this was obvious when Islamic state traversed hundreds of miles between Syria and Iraq in thousands of new pick up trucks kicking up hundreds of tons of dust on their way to take Ramadi and Mosul. Did the US see them with all their drones and satellites in space which can read a cars number plate, no, or rather yes but they needed to pressure the Iraqi government you see, so they did nothing. Similarly they watched thousands of Islamic state oil tankers take stolen oil from Syria to Turkey to fund more terrorism. It was only when Russia shamed the US with such aerial photos that the US had to take action.
      Assad has huge popular support in Syria, Russian, Iranian and Lebanese support is within International law, the US has no right to be in Syria and the arming of terrorists to effect regime change is both a war crime and contrary to the UN Charter. Once again the US is on the wrong side of history, when will they ever learn? One important note, the secular Assad government has the support of Syrians of every religious persuasion and most of the Sunni majority, because the opposition comprise mainly Jihadis who do not believe in democracy, any overthrow of Assad would mean the expulsion or death of the Syrian minorities.

  • Israel-Palestine conflict could 'explode' under Donald Trump, Israel supporter warns
    • Trump may regret wanting Netanyahu to be one of his first visitors. He will want assurances that the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, thereby enraging 1 and a half billion Muslims, and he will want Trump to fulfill his promise to renegotiate the Iran Agreement, thereby enraging the rest of the world. What could go wrong? King Bibi knows he has more support in Congress than Trump, I imagine Congress would sooner inaugurate Netanyahu, his ego is so large he would probably accept.

  • Getting away with murder: the Elor Azarya 'manslaughter' case

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