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

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  • Adi Shosberger called Israeli soldiers ‘terrorists’ -- and Israel has turned on her
    • There is a fact sheet on the Jewish Labour Movement ‘Free speech on Israel’ what is the Jewish Labour Movement? It sprang into life in February 2016 just as the UK Labour Party left was being invigorated. Here.. http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/JLMleaflet-2.pdf
      A socialist society is a membership organisation that is affiliated with the Labour Party in the UK.
      Current socialist societies
      There are 21 affiliated socialist societies:
      • Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Labour (BAME Labour) (formerly Labour Party Black Sections and Black Socialist Society)
      • Chinese for Labour
      • Christians on the Left (formerly The Christian Socialist Movement)
      • Disability Labour (formerly Labour Party Disabled Members Group)
      • Fabian Society
      • Jewish Labour Movement, (formerly Poale Zion)
      • Labour Animal Welfare Society
      • Labour Business (formerly Labour Finance and Industry Group)
      • Labour Campaign for International Development
      • Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour)
      • Labour Housing Group
      • Labour Movement for Europe
      • Labour Party Irish Society
      • Labour Students
      • Labour Women's Network
      • National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs
      • Scientists for Labour
      • Socialist Educational Association
      • Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA)
      • Socialist Health Association
      • Society of Labour Lawyers
      There are other organisations, such as Labour Arts Alliance, Muslims for Labour and Labour Humanists, which are not formally affiliated to the Labour Party but act as campaign groups for Labour Party members in the same way as the affiliates but have yet to apply for affiliation or have decided not to do so.
      Could they sue their Chief Rabbi since he could be vicariously responsible?

    • Just a reminder of the strange situation in the UK Labour Party.
      One of the supporters of Ruth Smeeth is the MP Luciana Berger who is also Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM] affiliated to the UK Labour party and the Israeli Labour party, the JLM says it organizes within the World Zionist Organization [WZO] whose goals include establishing Eretz Yisrael as a greater Israel from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean, including the whole of Jerusalem. WZO’s Settlement Division actively supports settlements in the Occupied West Bank.
      Israeli Labour Party leader Avi Gabbay and sister party to the UK Labour party also supported by the jewish Labour Movement [JLM] within the UK Labour party called the settlement enterprise “the beautiful and devoted face of Zionism” and said Israel must retain control over the Jordan Valley. The JLM have been calling for zero tolerance in the Labour Party for anti-Semitism, but they themselves support grave war crimes. The settlement enterprise is classed as a grave war crime in Article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions and in the ICC act UK, 2003. The World court [ICJ] gave its opinion in the ‘Wall Case’ in 2003 when all 15 Judges said ALL the Israeli settlements were contrary to the Geneva Conventions.
      Gabbay declared that God promised the Jews the entire land between the sea and the Jordan. That is not quite correct: God promised us all the land from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt. God never made good on that promise.

      Gabbay declared that in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, not a single Jewish settlement in the West Bank would be evacuated.

      Several years ago the Bil’in village took the Canadian company Green Park International to court in Canada, here is part of the prosecution case…

      “Under international law, it so happens that a breach of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention is classified as a war crime. The term “war crime” has no clear, universally accepted definition, but essentially war crimes are those violations of the laws of war so grave that they have been specially designated by the international community as an extraordinary class of offence whose reprehensible nature would “shock the conscience of all right-thinking people” (to use the words of Cory J. in R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701). Laws against war crimes are generally aimed at atrocities against civilians, prisoners of war, and other non-combatants.

      A war crime, to put it succinctly, is a very serious matter. Further, it is easy to see why the offence in question falls into this special category. Article 49(6) is essentially a law to prevent colonialism. One need look no further than the current condition of the indigenous peoples whose domain once spanned the entire expansive breadth of this continent to appreciate the gravity of the consequences territorial dispossession can inflict upon a population. Most war crimes deal with offences against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offence in Article 49(6) is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offence of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole” Should the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM] be expelled from the UK Labour Party because they support grave war crimes Should Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary claim “We are looking at introducing a programme of education quite possibly delivered by organizations like the Jewish Labour Movement. An organization that supports grave war crimes teaching Labour party members the error of their ways. You could not make it up.

  • 'NY Times' covers up Israel's killing of nonviolent protesters along the Gaza border
    • At least seven Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli forces in Gaza.
      All these Palestinians were on the Palestinian side of the heavily fortified barrier, some were killed by Israeli snipers set up to kill the "Ringleaders", some were killed by Tank fire. Firing into a prison is murder pure and simple.

  • Jeremy Corbyn and ’anti-Semitism’ - making sense of the hysteria
    • From the letter above

      Antisemitism disciplinary cases
      Outstanding and future cases to be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale. "An independent, mutually agreed ombudsman should be appointed to oversee performance, reporting to the Party and to the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council".

      "The Party should work with mainstream Jewish community organisations to develop and implement education about antisemitism. This should include a clear list of unacceptable language, such as the use of ‘Zio’ and ‘Zionist’ as terms of abuse, based on the full IHRA definition".
      How about all prospective Labour Party members are required to attend education centers, where antisemitism and its dangers are taught before they can become members?

    • Here is the amazing letter the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council sent to Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. He must go down on his knees.
      https://static1.squarespace.com/static/544680b5e4b0149c3cfddd3b/t/5abccd850e2e72e0bad29509/1522322825076/Response_to_Rt_Hon_Jeremy_Corbyn_from_JLC_Chair_and_BOD_President_28032018+copy.pdf

    • There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party, maybe a few individuals, who infest every political party or business organization, hatred of Israeli policies against Palestinians and it must be said the impotent rage at our seeming inability to help the Palestinians and our rage at successive Israeli governments acting with impunity and their uncaring ability to inflict war crimes on the occupied Palestinian people, this anger is wrongly interpreted as aimed at people of Jewish origin generally, when in truth it is aimed at the Israeli Government. Jeremy Corbyn is obviously not an antisemite he has fought all his life against racism, where I do fault him is his inability to fight back on this issue, always conceding that something has to be done, and always on the back foot suspending members for long periods without due process [Ken Livingstone has been suspended for nearly 2 years, for recounting an historical fact the 1933 Haavara agreement, this was well documented, but telling the truth is no defence in today’s witch hunting Labour Party]. George Galloway advised Jeremy "If you do not run away, they cannot chase you". Too true.
      A couple of years ago just after a Labour party Conference in Liverpool this open Democracy piece on Jackie Walker by Professor Jonathan Rosenhead appeared.....
      "In response to a moral panic about Left antisemitism 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”. https://www.opendemocracy.net/jonathan-rosenhead/jackie-walker-suspense-mystery

  • Trump appointed Bolton because Republicans desperately need Adelson's money
    • We will know war is imminent when all the US warships exit the Persian Gulf and assemble way beyond Iran' s missiles. Must read...'How aircraft carriers will die' http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

    • Has Bolton registered yet as an agent for a foreign country?

    • Keith, You would be expelled from the UK Labour Party for suggesting Zionists cooperated with the Nazis...."In a defiant series of interviews outside the hearing in Westminster, Livingstone said he had nothing to apologise for and would need to consider whether to challenge the suspension. “If I’d said Hitler was a Zionist, I would say sorry. You can’t apologise for telling the truth,” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/04/labour-suspends-ken-livingstone-for-a-year-over-hitler-comments Ken Livingstone was suspended by the Labour party for saying there was an agreement between the Zionists in Germany and the Nazi's, he was right, the 1933 Haavara agreement, this was well documented, but telling the truth is no defence in today's witch hunting Labour Party. As for what they would do to Phil Weiss... the woodshed.

    • It is very strange when an Israeli hawk on Iran, Shaul Mofaz [former Israeli Defence Minister] tries to be a sort of peace maker and attempts to hold Bolton back.

      "According to the Times of Israel, Bolton pushed then Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz to attack Iran even though no discernible threat was presented by Iran. As the Times reports:

      A former Israeli defense minister and chief of staff said Sunday that John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, once pushed him to order airstrikes against Iran.

      “I know John Bolton from when he was the US ambassador to the UN. He tried to convince me that Israel needs to attack Iran,” Shaul Mofaz told a Jerusalem conference held by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

      “I don’t think this is a smart move—not on the part of the Americans today or anyone else until the threat is real,” he added.

      Ironically Mofaz himself - in line with the Israeli defense establishment - takes a generally hawkish position on Iran",

    • Had John Bolton changed his mind about the Vietnam war in 1970, and then campaigned alongside Jane Fonda and Professors Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein and many others, he may have redeemed himself, he did not. Many people regard Mahatma Gandhi as a pacifist but he regarded cowards as being the lowest form of human life, so he said if your opponent tries to humiliate you, then strike back, and strike back hard.

      “Cowardice is impotence worse than violence. The coward desires revenge but being afraid to die, he looks to others, maybe to the government of the day, to do the work of defense for him. A coward is less than a man. He does not deserve to be a member of a society of men and women.”
      ― Mahatma Gandhi

    • Just as important to all these trade deals is the security aspect, Iran has been offered membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Council [a security block] led by China, they will soon join, making any military threats against them problematical in the extreme. The West has tried and failed to regime change Syria, and are now in the process of implementing plan B, the partitioning of Syria via occupation East of the Euphrates. This will flop since they have no real allies to bring it to fruition. Ideally the Kurds could fit the bill, but the Turks will never allow a nascent Kurd entity to be set up on its borders. The original plan was the low hanging fruit, Syria, followed by Hezbollah, then Iran. Russia upset that scenario when they answered a call from Assad for assistance to combat the multi nation proxy forces waging regime change war against them led by US/UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. So Iran's security has been enhanced. The US role in the Middle East is slowly eroding, and Saudi Arabia and other GCC states plus Israel can see the 'Arc of resistance' growing stronger, much to their consternation. The reason Trump and Israel want to dump the JCPOA has nothing to do with any nuclear issue, rather the conventional highly accurate missile program Iran is developing, which also benefits Hezbollah, that is a huge no no. If they limited their defence needs to a couple of Sopwith pups there would be no dispute, but since those missiles can reach Israel..Enter John Bolton stage right, it will make no difference, Russia and China will see to that.

    • echinococcus, There may come a time when a nation does need to go to war, the UK and Allies against Nazi Germany for instance, there are many circumstances when a state needs to go to war and unless you are a pacifist [which I am not] then I don't agree with you. The Vietnam war was not a just war, it was a war of aggression. These two cowards did not have a real opinion of whether the Vietnam war was right or wrong, rather they did not want to fight in it because they might be killed. Better to send other peoples sons and Daughters.

    • Two links from NYT article
      1/ “Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure”. Of course they are.
      2/ The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran. Then Bolton calls for the bombing of Iran, an obvious breach of the UN Charter and International Law. The NYT article is dated 2015 and the JCPA was signed in 2013 so no excuse for Bolton. It must be remembered that several individuals in the UK attending a highly charged rally were convicted and sent to prison for up to 6 years. How much more provocative is it for John Bolton to pen an article and cold bloodedly advocate the bombing of Iran, those sites would have many Russian workers there.

      "Rahman, of Palmers Green, north London, was recorded as calling for soldiers to be brought back from Iraq in body bags. Javed, of Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham, said to be one of the leaders of the protest, was recorded on video shouting: "Bomb, bomb Denmark. Bomb, bomb USA." Muhid, of Whitechapel, east London, led a crowd in chanting "Bomb, bomb the UK." Saleem, of Mellish Street, Poplar, east London, was heard to chant: "7/7 on its way."
      The attorney general, Lady Scotland, said: "Freedom of speech has to be exercised with restraint, and where it is abused in order to encourage murder and incite racial hatred it has to be combated." https://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/jul/19/pressandpublishing.cartoonprotests

    • These ‘don’t wannabe Privates [PVT’s]’ and putative regime changers, Donald ‘Bone spurs’ Trump [he couldn’t remember which foot was effected] and John ‘I don’t want to die in Vietnam’ Bolton, now lead the US war machine, both cowards avoided the US draft.
      A series of audio clips surfaced from the 1990s, including one in which Mr. Trump told Howard Stern, the radio show host, that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while dating “is my personal Vietnam.” Though Bolton supported the Vietnam War, he declined to enter combat duty, instead enlisting in the National Guard and attending law school after his 1970 graduation. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote of his decision in the 25th reunion book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”
      I am sure both cowards are more than willing to send other peoples children to die for US goals all over the world.

  • The European Union must act to end its complicity with illegal Israeli settlements
    • Several years ago Professor James Crawford produced an opinion for the Trade Union Congress on the consequences of third party action on trading with the Israeli settlement enterprises.......
      "Given previous State practice, it is highly unlikely that any legal consequences will eventuate should an individual State continue to engage with the Israeli occupation regime and the settlements. The fact remains that where the political will does not exist to implement it, international law can be rendered ineffective". https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/tucfiles/LegalOpinionIsraeliSettlements.pdf

    • No fair minded person could argue with Barghouti's appeal which is set out very well here. Unfortunately the Palestinian leadership do not agree with him, Abbas does not support the BDS movement, its true he supports part of it [those sanctions against the settlements] but who is more responsible for the settlement enterprise the Israeli government [all Israeli governments of whatever hue] or the settlers many of whom move to occupied territories 1/ Because the government tell them it is legal for them to do so, and 2/ Because many struggling Israelis cannot refuse government offers of subsidised housing, medical and other social infrastructure paid for by generous government special area grants? Don't get me wrong, the settlers are culpable in various ways but non more so than all past and present Israeli Governments, who have planned, funded and initiated the settlement enterprise from before the founding of the state. The Palestinians are hopelessly divided, and need to come together in order to confront the forces ranged against them, now including many GCC states led by Saudi Arabia. The 'West' can see these contradictions and are following the US in backing 'the stronger side' [in theory] and of course placing themselves on the wrong side of history. Of course it does not help that the only supporters of the Palestinians in the region, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah backed by Russia are wrongfully called the 'axis of evil'. The 'West' does not have the political will to intervene and probably will not do so. That being the case it is up to the Palestinians to unite and with a common purpose make alliances with all true friends in the region . Finally the illegal settlement enterprise has been expanding for 50 years yet the number of legal actions taken against them in many countries have been abysmal [Labeling and legality of sales etc]. The most important case of course is the ICC one at the Hague, the last I heard it could be 12 years before this case comes up [ in the meantime ongoing grave war crimes continue on a daily basis] why is no pressure put on the ICC to speed things up, [protests outside the ICC buildings etc?].

  • Netanyahu in DC: I don't want Palestinian 'subjects' but the West Bank will remain 'militarily under Israel'
    • Netanyahu is not wrong about those Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, their fear of Iran overrides the interests of any other state, including the Palestinians.
      "A number of Arab countries have advised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept whatever US President Donald Trump proposes in the context of his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, according to a Thursday report".
      “Wisdom requires accepting the maximum of what is available now,” the diplomat was quoted as saying. “The dealing should be in accordance with the logic of ‘take and negotiate’ so that we won’t be surprised after a few years that the monster of settlements has devoured the Palestinian territories.” https://www.timesofisrael.com/arabs-advising-abbas-to-accept-trump-peace-plan-or-risk-losing-out-report/
      Unfortunately the Palestinian leadership have put too much faith in the Saudis and the other GCC countries whose existence is dependent on US protection, they should keep their self respect and join the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon backed by Russia. I won't hold my breath.

  • Jared Kushner's swift rise and long, long fall
    • If it was a case of like father like son, a bit unfair I know, but Jared Kushner would be well placed to solve those domestic issues, including prison reform which he has been tasked with, after consulting his father of course who is now top Principal of the Kushner companies.
      His Father was charged with 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner's act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther's husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record an encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his sister. Kushner was sentenced to two years in prison, and served 14 months at Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery in Alabama before being sent to a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey, to complete his sentence. He was released from prison on August 25, 2006.

  • Abbas warns Security Council, Palestinians could become 'refugees or terrorists in Europe'
    • Haley ["I am the new Sheriff in town" there will be no more Israel bashing], Kushner and Greenblatt funders of the illegal settlement enterprise and Danon whose Likud party charter claims sovereignty over all of Palestine, they are great negotiating partners [Israeli firsters par excellence, and I don't think, Just more time is needed for more facts on the ground in the form of settlements to guarantee the one state solution the Israelis want, the Palestinians will be offered Bantustans where they will be able to govern themselves without representation in the Knesset and all within the sovereign Israeli state. This plan was outlined by Naftali Bennet in his NYT article in November 2014 https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html Who can Abbas appeal to in the region? His friends the Saudis are in bed with Kushner and would sell the Palestinians down the river in a heartbeat, the Eyptians have just signed a huge gas deal with Israel, also it is unlikely the Europeans will dare to cross the US. Which leaves only the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon [Hezbollah] led by Russia, although I don't think Abbas will join such an alliance even though that group have promised to liberate the Palestinians. Nothing looks promising.

    • Agree totally with you eljay, no wonder the Israelis love Abbas.

  • 'Preparing the hearts' - how the Temple Mount movement works towards their goal of building the Third Temple over the ruins of Al Aqsa
    • Mohamed Salah is one of the more well-known Muslim players in England, and certainly the talk of the Premier League since Liverpool paid 34 million pounds (almost $48 million) in a transfer fee from Italy’s AS Roma last summer. He’s also very outward with his faith, often bowing in prayer after scoring goals.
      That’s what makes this new song — in which fans sing of following Salah to mosque after he scores — so surprisingly welcome to experts who follow international soccer.
      A non profit NGO It analyzed 1,378 soccer matches during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and recorded 539 incidents of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, nationalist and Islamophobic nature, according the group’s monthly reports. British fans were responsible for 59 of those incidents, more than any other country.
      And then along came Salah, and fans have quite literally changed their tune.
      “This is the first time I’ve seen such an exuberant, overt, positive appreciation that includes [a player’s] religion,” FARE Executive Director Piara Powar said.
      Liverpool fans have taken to affectionately calling Salah, a native of Egypt, “The Pharaoh” or “The Egyptian King.”
      There have been other songs, too:
      “He’s running down the wing,” one goes. “Egyptian king!”
      “We brought the lad from Roma and he scores in every game,” starts another. “He’s Egyptian and he’s brilliant and Mohamed’s his name!”
      The new chant is to the tune of Dodgy's 1996 hit 'Good Enough' and includes lyrics suggesting Reds' fans would consider converting to Islam, reports the Mirror.
      Liverpool fans have started a new chant.
      And the Egyptian has responded to his latest chant on Twitter...
      "If he's good enough for you, he's good enough for me.
      "If he scores another few, then I'll be Muslim too."
      "If he's good enough for you, he's good enough for me.

  • Zionism's tailspin: Stark minority of young California Jews are 'comfortable with idea of Jewish state'
  • Upcoming Likud bill is Israel's latest attempt to annex the settlements
    • Naftali Bennett writing an opinion piece in the New York Times spells out his thinking on the fate of the Palestinians...
      "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.

      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.

      Gaza already functions like a state, but the Hamas government in control there is bent on Israel’s destruction. As long as Gaza remains on this path, it cannot be a party to any agreement". https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html
      Areas A and B comprise approx 10% of historic Palestine, no Palestinian from these areas would be able to vote in the Knesset, they would be surrounded by Israeli settlements and they would have no soveriegnty. I suppose Gaza could be called area G. These areas A,B and G would be bantustans or similar to American Indian reservations. Instead of infected blankets and cansinos, the Saudis, EU and US will be invited to make these places at least livable, provided the natives keep their heads down. If the EU and US were going to do anything about Israeli war crimes, they would already have done it, the Israelis know they can and will act with impunity, knowing the 'West' will do nothing.

  • Worldwide mobilization marks Ahed Tamimi's 17th birthday
  • Thomas Friedman justifies slaughter of Arab civilians by 'crazy' Israel
    • Maghlawatan "South Lebanon was occupied by Israel. The rest of Lebanon was occupied by Syria". Are your time lines mixed up? The South Lebanese Army was disbanded in 2000. The last Syrian soldier left Lebanon in April 2005. Fouad Siniora was the Lebanese Prime Minister from 2005-2009. And Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006 and were beaten back by Hezbollah. There has not been a census in Lebanon since 1932, when the population was a mere 875,000, the population now stands at 6 million. The Muslim population is approx 27% Shia and 27% Sunny. there are about another 16 other religious groups in the sectarian system. Annie is undoubtedly correct to assume the Shia community is under represented in the Parliament and that Nazrallah understands the necessity of a broad sharing of power.

    • It would appear Friedman has accepted Israels war crimes philosophy, Israel can act with impunity since it is protected from any consequences by the US veto at the UNSC. Mao Tse Tung said "Power grows out the barrel of a gun" could not be more apposite in this US/Israel partnership. Unfortunately for them, the balance of power is changing with the growth of the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. So serious is this threat that Trump is now allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel [he also hopes to enlist the UK, Germany and France ] in an effort to derail the Iran nuclear deal, Of course the Trump complaint is not directed against the nuclear deal per se, rather the mostly home produced conventional weapons the Iranians have, and are supplying to Syria and Hezbollah [these include accurate guided missiles and anti aircraft systems] capable of reducing Tel Aviv to rubble. The technological genie is out the bottle, no state has a monopoly on rocket technology, a technology which cannot be countered by such systems as 'iron dome' as was proven by Professor Postol at MIT https://thebulletin.org/evidence-shows-iron-dome-not-working7318 In my opinion the US is on the wrong side of history in the Middle East hence their illegal stay in Syria in breach of International law in an effort to either partition it or effect regime change, its not going to happen, the forces against them are too great. It won't stop them from trying though.

  • Trump calls Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey and Jordan 'enemies of America' for Jerusalem vote
    • Trump said..."Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this decision". I suppose the US does have the sovereign right to break International law, since as a veto wielding member of the UNSC nobody can do anything about it. But then sovereign rights are enjoyed by others and those states who opposed the US should be commended for upholding International law. The US is fast becoming a rogue state.

  • Norman Finkelstein's 'Gaza' is an exhaustive act of witness
    • Misterioso, the Israeli plan for Gaza involved more than caging them in, Dov Weisglass had the idea of starving them or in his words "putting them on a diet".
      "Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

      The Israeli media have tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve.”

      But a rather different picture emerges as one reads the small print. While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed daily an average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition — requiring 170 trucks a day — military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle down the trucks to a fraction of the original figure.

      The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks — much less than half of the minimum requirement — entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began". https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-starvation-diet-gaza/11810

    • If Hamas is to be criticised it is because they had an over optimistic view of their own military capabilities, on Professor Finkelsteins figures, during the last Gaza massacre 18,000 Gazan homes were destroyed compared to 1 Israeli home. It was estimated that 7,000 rockets were fired into Israel, 6,999 failed to hit anything, most landed harmlessly in the desert.
      To put that into perspective imagine during world war two, the defence Minister proposed to Churchill a 7,000 bomber sorty aimed at Germany, 6,999 bombers were lost in the North sea because, 1/ they had insufficient fuel to reach Germany or 2/ They had no navigational aids or other means of finding Germany. In retaliation the Germans destroyed a quarter of the UK. The defence Minister would have been hung drawn and quartered.
      The anger the US has with Iran, and the reason the US wants Iranian missiles included in a new deal, is because the Iranians have developed guided missiles with pinpoint accuracy and they will be supplying Hezbollah, who in turn have said they could destroy metropolitan Tel Aviv and other vital infrastructure like Ben Gurion airport and Dimona.

    • Page: 18
    • echinococcus. "The obligations of belligerents are not reciprocal. That is, they do not owe legal behaviour to each other, and the misbehaviour of one does not release the other from its legal obligations. Every armed party, independently and with no opt-out, is bound by these laws"
      A belligerent reprisal is lawful in certain situations, so that if one party continually bombs an area populated by civilians, and will not stop, the victim of this unlawful bombardment can legally strike back in an effort to stop the illegal behaviour.
      "A belligerent reprisal consists of an action that would otherwise be unlawful but that in exceptional cases is considered lawful under international law when used as an enforcement measure in reaction to unlawful acts of an adversary". https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule145
      The issue of International Law whenever Israel [or any friend of the US] is involved is not applicable since any criticism of Israel is immediately blocked by the US veto at the UNSC.
      David Morrison gives an excellent account of the use of the veto during the build up to the Iraq war here..
      "Academic lawyers in their thousands may protest that taking military action against Iraq 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".
      http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/iraq/ags-legal-advice.pdf
      The Palestinians alone cannot defend themselves properly, they need an alliance with like minded states, the 'arc of resistance' Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran backed by Russia fits the bill, as Abbas said a couple of days ago some of the other Arab states can "go to hell".

  • Abbas confirms Trump tried to sell Abu Dis as Palestinian capital, in 'Oslo is dead' speech
    • Why is the aid being suspended?
      "This is not aimed at punishing" anyone, state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters, adding that it was due to a US desire to see reforms at the agency.
      The $65m is being withheld "for future consideration", a US official told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
      "It is time other countries, some of them quite wealthy, step in and do their part to advance regional security and stability," the official added.
      The decision comes two weeks after President Trump's complaint that America receives "no appreciation or respect" in return for its aid. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42711985
      So you see the US did not receive any appreciation or respect for its decision on Jerusalem.

    • "At one point Abbas stated Arab leaders could “go to hell.” Does that mean the defenceless Palestinians are on their own? South African Aparteid was only ended with the support of all African frontline states. Of course what Abbas means by Arab states are the Saudi and other GCC countries and Egypt, Dictatorships who are no more than puppets to US/Israeli designs in the region. What has Abbas to say about the Arab 'arc of resistance' Syria, Lebanon, Iraq plus the non Arab Iranians who are committed to liberating the Palestinians. The PLO's statements http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=zbyLEda96057575031azbyLEd are well meaning but all subject to President Abbas' veto, which he wields like those he wishes "can go to hell". The Palestinian's situation is so weak they must find unity between the PA and Hamas, and forge a relationship and a common plan of action with the 'arc of resistance'. Otherwise they will be forced [by economic and military means] into complying with US/Israeli dictats.

  • Haass and Kristof can't cross the Zionist Rubicon
    • Rob Roy, ” Were you just repeating something someone else said, or are those you words and thoughts?" I was repeating what the NYT reported...... “According to Palestinian, Arab and European officials who have heard Mr. Abbas’s version of the conversation, plus many other outlets have reported the same, this in in keeping with my 'opinion' that the Saudis do not care about the Palestinians, all they care about are themselves and their hegemonic power in the region. I did hear one Palestinian official deny this, but in the words of Mandy Rice Davies "He would say that wouldn't he". [giving away my age].
      This entails the Saudis teaming up with Israel, the US and other Gulfies to eventually wage war on Iran, this is why the US/Saudi and Israel proxy war was started first on the low hanging fruit Syria, to be followed by Hezbollah and finally Iran, fortunately this proxy war has come unstuck on the first hurdle Syria, thanks to Russia.

    • In many ways Trumps recognition of Jerusalem does recognize a certain reality, the reality that countries the US are aligned with, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries talk so much hot air, so that whatever they say in public is undermined by other state institutions, so that when Abbas was summoned to SA, he was told the unvarnished truth, that Israel was not the enemy, Iran was, and their survival as medieval dictators with vast fortunes to spend in European brothels and casinos depended on that fact. Abbas had to accept that reality without being hung upside down by his feet.
      "According to Palestinian, Arab and European officials who have heard Mr. Abbas’s version of the conversation, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented a plan that would be more tilted toward the Israelis than any ever embraced by the American government, one that presumably no Palestinian leader could ever accept.
      The Palestinians would get a state of their own but only non contiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over their own territory. The vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants". https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/world/middleeast/palestinian-saudi-peace-plan.html
      How is that a great deal different from the Bantustan project the Israelis have in mind?
      The US/Israel know the Arabs weaknesses and can seemingly divide them easily.
      "As President Trump moved last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an Egyptian intelligence officer quietly placed phone calls to the hosts of several influential talk shows in Egypt.
      “Like all our Arab brothers,” Egypt would denounce the decision in public, the officer, Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi, told the hosts.
      But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Captain Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah". https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/world/middleeast/egypt-jerusalem-talk-shows.html

    • It is inconceivable that the Israeli leadership has not considered the implications of a one state solution, Naftali Bennett advocates self governing Palestinian enclaves in parts of areas A and B with no Palestinian sovereignty or representation in the Knesset. Area C which comprises 60% of the West Bank with few Palestinians would be annexed by Israel, if the Palestinians refuse they will be compelled to accept [I presume like Gaza]. I don't think many Palestinians would accept this state of affairs, even if the US, EU and Saudi Arabia crammed their mouths with gold. It is estimated that the Palestinian population between the river and the sea will be roughly equal by 2017 and palestinians will be in a majority in the very near future https://forward.com/news/breaking-news/328404/palestinian-population-to-pass-jews-by-2017-in-israel-and-territories/ Many Israelis [including Netanyahu] have the notion that they can have it all and continue the settlement enterprise, only very recently announced the building of 3,000 more homes in the West Bank https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-settlements/israel-says-will-build-3000-new-homes-in-west-bank-settlements-idUSKBN15F2SI Netanyahu said Israel will live by the sword, does he have the death wish?

  • Israel detains 313 children-- but State Department says it has no 'information on that'
    • America's best friend Saudi Arabia puts demonstrators to death.
      "In most countries organising an illegal demonstration on Facebook might get you a fine or, if you’re unlucky, a short jail sentence.
      But there is one place where it can actually help get you the death penalty".
      Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, was a bit more blunt when she condemned the Prime Minister’s [T May] “deafening silence” on the issue.
      “When 14 young men face imminent beheading for protest-related offences, simply raising the cases in private doesn’t cut it,” she said. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/saudi-arabia-protests-execution-uk-police-training-saudi-forces-torture-theresa-may-a7878361.html
      It really is nauseating to listen to the hypocrisy of these jobsworths.

  • A foreign leader -- Netanyahu -- set Trump's agenda in Middle East, Michael Wolff book says
    • Trump Sends C&D To Wolff, Demands Halt To Publication Of Explosive Book About His Presidency
      The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., "immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” including excerpts and summaries of the book’s contents, and requests a copy of the book in its entirety as they pursue possible legal action."
      The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-04/trump-lawyers-demand-halt-any-further-publication-fire-and-fury

  • 'We have taken Jerusalem off the table' -- Trump bullies Palestinians
    • Ossinev, The Palestinians have to make some serious decisions on how to proceed in the immediate future, especially with the Trump administration taking orders from the Israelis. It is long past time for elections in Palestine, which were due to be held toward the end of 2018, although Abbas has the ultimate authority to decide the date. The Israelis have decided the Palestinians will have no sovereign state and are committed to annexing all of Palestine, with only self governing Bantustans with no representation in the Knesset. All financed with money from the KSA, US and Europe to sweeten the prison like conditions. The 'West' may not be happy with this arrangement but the Europeans are so spineless they will follow the US lead, which is to obey Israeli dictats. The Palestinians are in a very weak position, not able to resist militarily or to influence Western leaderships, They should of course join the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon backed by Russia, the 'arc' have at least promised to fight for Palestinian rights. I suspect that will be a bridge too far for Abbas and Co.

    • Just a few of the opinions regarding Trump.....
      Wolff quotes News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch as calling Trump a “fucking idiot.” He quotes former Fox News chief Roger Ailes encouraging Bannon not to “give Donald too much to think about.” The book reports that former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh thought the White House was incompetently run. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former chief of staff Reince Priebus believe Trump to be an “idiot.” Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, regards Trump as “dumb as shit.” The president’s top national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, considers him a “dope.” Even Trump’s beloved daughter, Ivanka, seems to be in on the gag.

      “She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony,” wrote Wolff, “going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others.”

      None of this, notably, includes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson own take on his boss. A “fucking moron” is how he reportedly deemed Trump. https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-enraged-personally-dictates-scathing-denouncement-of-one-time-top-strategist-steve-bannon
      Although one should never mock the afflicted, I agree with Tillerson.

    • Trump.."We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more". Why should they do that? Past experience of Israeli deals indicate they will simply pocket that concession and demand more. What kind of a negotiator ['the art of the deal'] is Trump, who gives away the most important part of a deal even without asking for a 'quid pro que', it certainly is not MAGA [Make America Great Again] rather MIGA.

  • How Palestinians can transform statelessness into strength
    • The heir to the Saudi crown has tried to convince the president of the Palestinian Authority to accept the peace scheme proposed by the United States, the Middle East Eye media outlet reported citing official sources close to the negotiations.

      According to officials, Mohammad bin Salman underscored that Washington was the "the only game in town," saying that no other power could pave the way toward a peaceful resolution of the decade-long standoff between Israelis and Palestinians. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201712241060281431-saudi-crown-prince-abbas-us-peace-plan/
      It is possible [after a suitable period of reflection] that Abbas will receive a call from Trump asking him to get round that famous table again, its possible Abbas [Israels enforcer] will go along with it, knowing that the Saudis and other Arab leaders are so in hock to US/Israel that he will have no alternative. Of course the true resistance to Israel, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah [not mentioned by Ahmed Moor] do not follow US orders, and have the ability to reduce Tel Aviv to rubble. The Palestinians in the coming months will have to make some important decisions. Go along with US, Israel and GCC designs and receive good funding [and no state] and become slaves, or join the true resistance.

  • Palestinians celebrate resounding Trump and Israel failure at the UN
    • Atlantaiconoclast. Not sure you are correct about 'most' Palestinians being supportive of the headchoppers in Syria, Hamas has just concluded an agreement with Iran. https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.805613
      David Hearst has a good article on Professor Finkelsteins blog .. 'The axis of Arab autocrats who are standing behind Donald Trump'..
      "Trump, however, does not act alone. Whatever domestic constituency he thinks he is appealing to, and the evangelical Christians appear high on the list, Trump could not and would not have made his announcement unless he had regional backers.

      The support of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and religious nationalists from Jewish Home are a given, but they are wearily familiar. The exotic and temptingly alien support comes from a new generation of Gulf Arab superbrats – young, irreverent, dune-bashing, selfie-taking, in your face, and appearing in a coup near you.

      Under Trump they have formed an axis of Arab autocrats, whose geopolitical ambition is as large as their wallets. They really do think they have the power to impose their will not just on the shards of a Palestinian state, but on the region as a whole.

      Under construction, at least in their minds, is a network of modern police states, each wearing a lip gloss of Western liberalism. All see Likud as their natural partners, and Jared Kushner as their discreet interlocutor.

      Thought, reflection, cooperation, consultation, consensus do not appear in their lexicon. Democracy is to be postponed, free speech is there to be managed. And Arabs? They are there to be bought".

  • Trump threatens to cut aid to countries voting against Jerusalem decision at UN
    • Misterioso, good post, unfortunately the US government and their friends [think Saudi Arabia and Israel] are above International law for all time [their veto power] see also http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/iraq/ags-legal-advice.pdf
      Then we have the American Service-Members' Protection Act (ASPA],
      ASPA authorizes the U.S. president to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court." This authorization has led the act to be nicknamed the "Hague Invasion Act", because the freeing of U.S. citizens by force might be possible only through an invasion of The Hague, Netherlands, the seat of several international criminal courts and of the Dutch government

    • Just shows how stupid Trump and Haley are, even those countries who might think about backing the US in the UNGA vote, must be thinking twice, for instance, how other countries would think of them as craven satraps with absolutely no self respect [rather like Congress to AIPAC].
      How funny it would be if the US stopped aid to all those countries, leaving Israel as the only recipient of such aid.

  • UN Security Council to vote on resolution against Trump's Jerusalem decision as mass protest continues across the occupied territories
  • Israeli Jews 'will never accept' giving vote to Palestinians -- liberal Zionist leader
    • Correction to my comment above. Where I say Israel asserting full sovereignty over the West Bank 'and refusing', should read 'only allowing' a much diminished vote in the Knesset.

    • Maghlawatan, "Protestant hegemony fell apart, Harry. Stormont was suspended by the UK govt in the early 70s". And a good thing too, of course the Protestants did not want Stormont in the first place, understanding that it would mean Protestants governing Catholics, they only wanted to be governed like the rest of the UK, unfortunately Westminster in its wisdom insisted on a Stormont parliament which hobbled along until the Province exploded in 1968. One of the largest democratic deficits in Northern Ireland is the fact that the political parties that govern the Province Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem 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. Just think, the only influence citizens of Northern Ireland have over the Political parties that govern them Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem is when there is a hung parliament, then the knives are out for the likes of the DUP when in fact those parties, particularly the Labour party are more to blame for refusing to give people in Northern Ireland the opportunity to vote for a non sectarian party, and more importantly the opportunity to vote for the party that aspires to govern them the UK Labour Party, what could be more undemocratic? In fact it would be as undemocratic as Israel asserting full sovereignty over the West Bank and refusing Palestinians a much diminished vote in the Knesset. Of course Northern Irish voters can vote at Westminster, unfortunately they only have 18 seats and only very rarely have the opportunity to influence government policy. How much better if Protestant and Catholic working people could infuence Labour Party Policy as Labour Party Members [within labours internal policymaking framework] sounds democractic to me.

    • Just to add to the above comment, the implication that all middle class people in northern Ireland are Protestant is ridiculous
      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 [of whatever class] the elementary right to vote for the party that aspires to govern them, otherwise 1.8 million people in NI effectively have no vote.

    • Maglawatan, Whats fallen apart?
      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 [GFA] between the UK and Irish government [including Sinn Fein] recognised that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination when the Republic changed its constitution from a ‘claim’ to an ‘aspiration’, and that there can be no constitutional change in NI without the majority agreeing to it.
      The result of the Irish Republics 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 that 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 in order 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 to 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.

    • Yonah, "South africa had an ANC that was asking for something specific: civil rights in South Africa, and Palestine has Fatah and Hamas not asking for this specific thing, how can one compare the two situations". It is the Israeli leadership which insists its citizens are classed as Israeli Jews or Israeli Arabs, together with its racist 'right of return' the state is inherently racist, Minister Leiberman recently said "It is no secret that Lieberman has been trying, for some time now, to change the status quo of Israel's Arab citizens, to take away their citizenship, and to 'transfer' them out of here."

      Leiberman said last January that he would not support any peace agreement that does not include the exchange of Israeli Arab land and population. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.603160
      While it is true that Israeli occupation [should only be temporary] does not legally form the
      basis of a sovereign state in the whole of Palestine, that is what the Israelis want eventually.
      To that end they discriminate, ethnically cleanse and murder Palestinians with impunity. The Bantustans analogy is correct [Apartheid equals separation] this is the Israeli end game in a one state sovereign Israel and a disenfranchised Palestinian series of 'townships' dependent on the International Community to survive.

    • By the way, where is Professor Finkelstein? Last I heard "The Long Island Police came to Norman’s house last night, beat him up mercilessly and then shoved him inside a jail cell. All because he dared challenge the mafiosi duo Michael Chetkof and Allyson Burger. All because he brooks no injustice, and is loath to see the life of a dear friend destroyed before his very eyes." http://thetruther.us/blog/2017/10/12/dr-norman-finkelstein-beaten-arrested-new-jersey/

    • As a long time believer in the two state solution, I must be a liberal Zionist. I join Professors Chomsky and Finkelstein in that belief. Unfortunately most Israelis want a one state solution where Israeli sovereignty extends over the whole 'Land of Israel' [Judea and Samaria] and beyond [the litani river and the Golan Heights], see also the Likud charter. According to Naftali Bennett the Palestinians will either live in self governing Bantustans [with no representation in the Knesset] or they will be forced to accept that arrangement. Of course Bantustans were set up in South Africa and many black South Africans were induced into accepting them, even though blacks outnumbered whites by ten to one. Many Palestinians could go along with a similar arrangement provided those 'prisons' were well carpeted by the US/EU and Saudis.
      Sorry to labour this point, but I think it is so important, when Professor N Finkelstein spoke in Dublin last year he said this of some the Palestinian solidarity movement [I think he had his friend Phil Weiss in mind] said ..."If you can't get half a loaf, 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". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS4eBHz2wEU He also said can you name one country in the world that supports a one state solution? None, so you think you are going to win a cause against the whole world, these are flights of fancy, fantasy as well, they are nothing to do with the real world?
      I agree with Professor Finkelstein, although I am more pessimistic about the future. In another statement Professor Finkelstein said "Israel must suffer a defeat", did he have those hundreds of thousands of rockets aimed at the postage sized, very vulnerable state of Israel by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran in mind, could be?

  • Neoconservatives may finally get their war with Iran, from Donald Trump
    • In my opinion the US will neither attack North Korea [NK] or Iran. In the case of NK a conventional attack would put the lives of 12 million people in Seoul in grave danger from the NK massed artillery all along armistice line. Steve Bannon got it right when he said Top White House official Steve Bannon said Wednesday that there is “no military solution” to North Korea.

      “Forget it,” he told American Prospect magazine in an August 16 interview. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/17/16162332/bannon-american-prospect-north-korea-military
      The same thing applies to Iran, the US has its fleet in Bahrain and many ships and bases in the area, you will know war is imminent when those vulnerable ships all move out of the area, out of range of the formidable missile systems Iran has. If Iran is attacked Israel would also come under threat, Hezbollah alone has 100,000 missiles ready to rain down on all vital infrastructure in the Tel Aviv area. In theory approx 1000 missiles per square mile. Iron dome cannot stop them Professor Postol of MIT calculated that iron dome intercepted just 5% of Hamas rockets https://thebulletin.org/evidence-shows-iron-dome-not-working7318
      So using the above figures Israel could intercept approx 5,000 of the 100,000 missiles at a cost of 10 billion dollars [each iron dome interceptor missile costs 100,000 dollars] Remember this is just Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have far deadlier arsenals. Israel knows it would be in ruins if the 'arc of resistance' is attacked, and the arc is growing stronger by the day.

  • Trump just 'pushed the two-state solution over the cliff'
    • Sorry I left out Israel's Golan Heights annexation "The Golan Heights will forever remain part of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday during the first-ever cabinet meeting held on the Golan". https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-vows-golan-heights-will-remain-part-of-israel-forever/ Next the Litani, possibly a buffer zone between the Golan and Damascus, where will it end?

    • Talkback, If Israel only wanted 80% of the land, there might not be a problem since the Palestinians have already conceded approx that much and settled on 22% of Palestine. The problem is Israel wants it all look at the the Likud charter...
      The Likud Party Platform states:

      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

      d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”
      Naftali Bennett spelt it out in a New York Times article recently, Israel will have sovereignty over all the 'Land of Israel' Palestinians will have self governing enclaves within the sovereign state of Israel with no Knesset representation, if they refuse this "generous" offer, they will be compelled to accept it. Israel only wants a one state solution based on discrimination and South African style Bantustans. They want the land, but not the people.

    • Boomer, You must be one of the very few who did not know why the "peace process" has lasted so long.
      TEL AVIV, June 26— Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was quoted in a published interview today as saying he wanted to drag out peace talks with the Palestinians for a decade while vastly increasing the number of Jewish settlers in Israeli-occupied territories.

      Had he held on to his office instead of being defeated this week in Israel's national election, Mr. Shamir reportedly said, "I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million people" in the West Bank. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/27/world/shamir-is-said-to-admit-plan-to-stall-talks-for-10-years.html
      This is Israeli policy, the PA have gone along with it.
      Netanyahu did better, he dragged it out for over 20 years.

    • When Professor N Finkelstein spoke in Dublin last year he said this of some the Paletinian solidarity movement "If you can't get half a loaf, 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". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS4eBHz2wEU He also said can you name one country in the world that supports a one state solution? None, so you think you are going to win a cause against the whole world, these are flights of fancy, fantasy as well, they are nothing to do with the real world?
      Israeli Minister Bennett wants Palestinian areas of the West Bank to be administered by Palestinians [with no represenation in the Knesset] those areas would be under Israeli sovereignty ["the Land of Israel"] he said if the Palestinians refused, they would be compelled to accept it. The Palestinians must unite and come up with a plan of action together with their true freinds in the region otherwise Bennetts proposals will be implemented by default.

    • Of course recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital is contrary to International Law, but International Law has been a dead letter in Israel/Palestinian affairs for decades. The Palestinians must share some of the blame, most observers could see the "peace process" for what it was, a deliberately drawn out con designed to buy time for Israel to build and consolidate more settlements. When the Oslo accords were signed over 20 years ago it was envisaged that Israel would give up more of the West Bank ending in Palestinian self determination. From day one the Oslo accords were a failure, why, because the Israeli settlement enterprise went into high gear, and has continued ever since. These settlements are of course, like the recognition of Jerusalem, grave war crimes contrary to International Law [Geneva conventions Article 49.6] but so what, they did nothing over the settlement enterprise, what are they going to do now? Probaby run to Saudi Arabia and the other GCCvassels of US/Israel, who, in my opinion are anxious to throw them under the bus [at least their leaders are] I hope the Palestinians realize who their true friends are, the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah I will not hold my breath. One of the first acts of resistance....RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus’ traditional birthplace in Bethlehem on Wednesday night in protest at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He said it was unclear whether the illuminations would be turned on again before the main Christmas festivities. That will show them.

  • A majority of one is pushing for embassy move -- Sheldon Adelson
    • Maybe Trump can see the disarray in the Arab world and with MbS trying to force Abbas to agree with almost any US peace plan https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/world/middleeast/palestinian-saudi-peace-plan.html including Abu Dis as the putative capital of a non sovereign Palestinian entity. Trump is a chancer and maybe he thinks [not unreasonably] that Mbs will throw the Palestinians under the bus, we shall see.

      Phil Weiss, "And P.S. Trump tried to block the UN Security Council resolution against settlements a year ago, while he and Mike Flynn and Jared Kushner were civilians, and maybe just maybe that’s a problem". Sure is, Trumps team did collude with Egypt and Israel to subvert official US policy over UNSC Resolution 2334, that has not been denied. ['collusion'.. agreement between people to act together secretly or illegally in order to deceive or cheat someone. Cambridge dictionary.] As far as we know Russia did not collude with anyone since they rejected US requests on that resolution. Professors Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner writing in the NYT say "Why the Trump team should fear the Logan Act"] here... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/opinion/trump-team-flynn-logan-act.html
      Kushner and others should also have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act [FARA].

  • US embassy move to Jerusalem would spark 'fanaticism and violence' and end US status as negotiator -- Arab leaders
    • According to Palestinian, Arab and European officials who have heard Mr. Abbas’s version of the conversation, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented a plan that would be more tilted toward the Israelis than any ever embraced by the American government, one that presumably no Palestinian leader could ever accept.

      The Palestinians would get a state of their own but only noncontiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over their own territory. The vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/world/middleeast/palestinian-saudi-peace-plan.html

      At least the Saudis did not kidnap Abbas, although they apparently did try to bribe him.

      One Lebanese government official who received a call was most surprised by what he said was a Saudi suggestion that the Palestinians could have Abu Dis, a suburb of East Jerusalem, as their capital.

      Abu Dis is separated from the city by a wall built as part of Israel’s separation barrier.

    • Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his plan to control “all of the territory” and “live forever by the sword.” Can't be plainer than that. Although, He who lives by the sword.... http://www.mintpressnews.com/netanyahu-we-will-forever-live-by-the-sword-indefinitely-control-all-palestinian-territory/210700/

  • Netanyahu has been interfering in U.S. politics for a long, long time
    • The scope of this act is....

      The Act requires periodic disclosure of all ACTIVITIES and finances by:

      PEOPLE and organizations that are under control of
      a foreign government, OR
      of organizations OR OF PERSONS outside of the United States ("FOREIGN PRINCIPAL"),
      if they act "at the order, REQUEST, or under the direction or control" (i.e. as "AGENTS")
      of this principal
      of persons who are "controlled or subsidized in major part" by this principal.

    • Did Kushner register as a foreign agent before advocating for Israel in either the deletion or postponement of UNSC Resolution 2334. If not , why not?

      The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a United States law passed in 1938 requiring that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a "political or quasi-political capacity" disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate "evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons." The law is administered by the FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) of the United States Department of Justice.[1] As of 2007 the Justice Department reported there were approximately 1,700 lobbyists representing more than 100 countries before Congress, the White House and the federal government.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Agents_Registration_Act
      See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Flynn#Foreign_agent Who has already registered as a foreign agent.

    • I think a distinction has to be made between a foreign country trying to influence US policy by lobbying US representatives, sometimes aggressively, after all most countries try to do that, [think Israel and deep pockets Saudi Arabia] that is only to be expected, it would be a very naive US representative who did not expect such pressure.
      The distinction I refer to is when that foreign country tries to influence US policy by persuading various US citizens [who you know will do your bidding], and to conspire with them to defeat the policies of the US. This is clearly what Kushner and Flynn tried to do in relation to UNSC Resolution 2334. In another thread I tried to think of a crime which was similar to the hardly ever used Logan Act. In my opinion it is ...
      “treason.
      ​(the crime of) showing no loyalty to your country, especially by helping its enemies or trying to defeat its government: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/treason“;

  • War rumblings continue, as Netanhayu says Iran is another Nazi Germany
  • Flynn's plea on Russian influence reveals... Israel's influence!
    • Keith, My reference to Flynn having registered with FARA only accounts for his work for the Turkish government, he will not of course have told the US government [Obama] about his work for the Israeli government before Trumps inauguration.

    • Keith, I, like you know that Russia did not interfere with the US elections and that the whole Mccarthyite propaganda exercise was drummed up by Clinton losing the election. Craig Murray ex Ambassador said it was a leak from inside the DNC. I think this was confirmed by Bill Binney [he should know]. My interest with these latest relevations concern Kushner and Flynns trying to block or pospone that UNSC Resolution at the behest of a foreign power, Israel, that is not disputable. What can be done to stop this abuse.? In the Phil Weiss post "Netanyahu has been interfering in US politics for a long, long time" 3-12-17. I argue in my second comment, that Kushner unlike Flynn has not registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act [FARA legislation 1938], [are you happier with that date?] Here is that Act...
      The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a United States law passed in 1938 requiring that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a "political or quasi-political capacity" disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate "evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons." The law is administered by the FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) of the United States Department of Justice.[1] As of 2007 the Justice Department reported there were approximately 1,700 lobbyists representing more than 100 countries before Congress, the White House and the federal government.

    • In an earlier comment I thought the Logan Act fitted the bill as to what Kushner and Flynn were up to, I may be wrong but treason might be more appropriate;
      "treason.
      ​(the crime of) showing no loyalty to your country, especially by helping its enemies or trying to defeat its government: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/treason";
      Israel requests Kushner and Flynn both private citizens to defeat a UNSC Resolution which the US Government were going to allow to pass, both agree to try and defeat that US government action on behalf of a foreign entity [Israel] thats treason.

    • Mooser, I don't think you are being entirely fair about Madam Clinton, she was unaware her server was acid washed and 33,000 e mail were deleted.
      Hillary Clinton joked to reporters Tuesday in Las Vegas about whether she "wiped" her email server clean before giving it to the FBI.

      “What? Like with a cloth or something?” she asked, then laughed. “I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”

    • Catalan, The chinese have agreed to buy a majority share in Ahava which of course has its manufacturing business in the West Bank.
      A Chinese business conglomerate has agreed to become the majority shareholder of the Israeli Ahava Dead Sea minerals cosmetics company for close to $76.5 million. https://www.timesofisrael.com/ahava-bought-by-chinese-conglomerate-in-midst-of-bds-concerns/
      Of course thats the way the Chinese do business, they care not whether they deal with dictators in Africa or anywhere. Just like the good old USA.

    • Keith, This is no fixation on the Logan Act, there is no other legislation on the statute books, the Logan Act just happens to fit perfectly the situation created by Kushner and Flynn. What other piece of legislation would be appropriate for this crime? Or is it alright for an incoming administration to nobble an important UNSC Resolution put forward by the incumbent government on behalf of an alien power, Israel, this goes to the heart of the democratic process. Had Kushner and Flynn suceeded, that Resolution might never have seen the light of day again, and given the green light to massive settlement building and ethnic cleansing.

    • Sibiriak, Here is just one situation the special Prosecutor might have the goods on Flynn. In August 2016, Flynn’s consulting firm was hired by something called Inovo BV — a Dutch company that turned out to be a shell corporation for a wealthy member of the Turkish government. Flynn appears to have continued working for Turkey until November at the earliest, and was paid at least $530,000 by Ankara. During this time, he was also serving as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

      US citizens, even retired military officers, can legally work on behalf of foreign powers and take money from them. That’s not, in and of itself, problematic.

      But in order to do so legally, Flynn needed to be exceptionally honest to the US government about it — and cease his work as soon he reentered a position in the US government. And it’s not clear that he actually did all of the required steps.

      For one thing, he was late filing the paperwork for the Foreign Agent Registration Act — which isn’t that big a deal. But it’s not clear if he was entirely truthful on the paperwork he did file, and it’s also possible that he omitted the $45,000 payment on a form to renew his security clearance (called an SF-86), which requires such payments to be disclosed. Either would constitute lying to federal investigators, which (as we’ve discussed) is very illegal.

      Two bodies, the Department of Defense and the House Oversight Committee, are known to be investigating these issues. Who knows if the FBI has uncovered anything relevant to it as well. Regardless, Flynn could be in trouble. https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/16/15649496/trump-comey-fbi-flynn

    • Keith, Flynn was given a sweetheart deal so that the Prosecutors could go after bigger fish, Kushner and Trump. The Prosecutor had a whole raft of possible charges against Flynn which will remain on file to ensure Flynn cooperates with the investigation. I thought Clinton was an awful candidate and we could have had perpetual war. I gave Trump the benefit of the doubt hoping he would make good on his promises not to spend 6/7 trillion dollars on more futile wars like in Afghanistan/Iraq, instead he promised to spend money saved on wars on US infrastructure [more fool I] I think Trump is mentally ill and his foreign policies including Israel/Palestine and Iran are foolish, but I certainly would not have voted for the warmonger Clinton. On this issue I don't think I am biased, my reading of the Logan Act and members of the Trump teams disgraceful attempted blocking of that important UNSC Resolution is my honest opinion based on facts and logic.

    • Kathleen, I would think it normal for the Trump team to have relations and meet with any country and their Ambassadors, including Israeli agents, those relations could be regarded as preparing for an easy transition, the problems arise when the Trump team go beyond normal transition arrangements and attempt to subvert the incumbent Presidents foreign polices. Foreign Ambassadors and Israeli agents may well try to influence that foreign policy [that is to be expected and should be turned down] what is not right is for an incoming administration [the Trump team] to subvert US foreign policy by asking those foreign entities to vote a certain way on an important UNSC Resolution, in my opinion, a clear breach of the Logan Act.

    • Ronald Johnson, "As a nominee for a Cabinet position, he was more than a private citizen. His entrappers would hold that a nominee must do nothing in preparation for the job until he is sworn in. Ridiculous". Can't agree, he was still a private citizen untill he takes up his position.
      also the Logan Act is plain.. Any citizen of the US "with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both".
      Flynn and others clearly attempted to subvert official US policy at the UNSC with various countries in flagrant breach of that Act.

    • In my opinion it does not matter whether the collusion was with Russia or Israel, what matters is top individuals in President elect Trumps team attempted to change important US foreign policy as determined by the still in power Obama administration, this is not a legitimate way for an incoming administration to behave. It was not a traditional way to smooth that transition. It was a criminal offence under the Logan Act....

      Logan Act 1799

      § 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.

      Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

      This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

      Although the Act is old and nobody has been prosecuted under it, it was introduced specifically to stop the activity Kushner and others are alleged to have been involved in.
      Is Trump also involved? In view of his pressuring of El-Sisi over their UNSC vote the day before, it is inconceivable that he did not know and/or direct Kushner to do as he did.

  • Dangerous signs that Trump, Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince are planning wider Mideast war
    • General Flynn has recieved a sweetheart deal from the Prosecutors because they think the investigation will go to the top of this administration. One of Flynns lies concerned UNSC Resolution 2334 to be voted on 23 December 2016.
      a. On or about December 21, 2016, Egypt submitted a resolution to the United Nations Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlements ("resolution"). The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote on the resolution the following day.

      b. On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed FLYNN to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.

      c. On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN contacted the Russian Ambassador about the pending vote. FLYNN informed the Russian Ambassador about the incoming administration's opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution

      d. On or about December 23, 2016, FLYNN again spoke with the Russian Ambassador, who informed FLYNN that if it came to a vote Russia would not vote against the resolution.
      A senior Trump transition team member said Kushner instructed Flynn to try and nobble the Resolution, did Trump instruct Kushner or did Kushner do it alone? Either way both are in trouble, this was not the act of an incoming administration ensuring a smooth transition, this was a blatant act to kill an important OBama initiative on Israeli settlement building and a clear breach of the Logan Act...
      (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government's position.[2] The Act was passed following George Logan's unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799. The Act was last amended in 1994, and violation of the Logan Act is a felony.

    • I think it will be a big deal for Trump since it would appear he or a very senior member of his team tried to change Obama's policy at the UNSC by negotiating with other countries voting at the UN before Trump came to office.
      "According to the Bloomberg report, "one of Flynn’s lies to the FBI was when he said that he never asked Russia's ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, to delay the vote for the U.N. Security Council resolution. The indictment released today from the office of special prosecutor Robert Mueller describes this lie: "On or about December 22, 2016, Flynn did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution." At the time, the U.N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements was a big deal. Even though the Obama administration had less than a month left in office, the president instructed his ambassador to the United Nations to abstain from a resolution, breaking a precedent that went back to 1980 when it came to one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N".

      "This was the context of Kushner's instruction to Flynn last December. One transition official at the time said Kushner called Flynn to tell him he needed to get every foreign minister or ambassador from a country on the U.N. Security Council to delay or vote against the resolution. Much of this appeared to be coordinated also with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose envoys shared their own intelligence about the Obama administration's lobbying efforts to get member states to support the resolution with the Trump transition team" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-01/kushner-said-have-ordered-flynn-contact-russia

    • That one lie possibly involved Flynn trying to influence a vital UN vote on 23 December 2016 Resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements, the Israeli Government went apoplectic with OBama because he refused to withdraw it. If Flynn did try to influence other UN members into changing their votes, that would be a clear breach of the never used [until possibly now] Logan Act.
      "PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN WAS DIRECTED BY 'A VERY SENIOR MEMBER' OF TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM TO POLL COUNTRIES AHEAD OF UN VOTE IN DEC 2016
      PROSECUTORS SAY FLYNN WAS TOLD BY THE SENIOR MEMBER OF TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM TO REACH OUT TO OTHER COUNTRIES TO INFLUENCE THE UN VOTE TO DELAY OR DEFEAT THE RESOLUTION" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-01/flynn-prepared-testify-against-trump-gold-spikes-stocks-plunge?page=3

    • I don't see a war on Hezbollah in the immediate future, it would have to be a huge false flag or pure aggression on Israel's part, in such a case the Russians with their s400's just to the north in Syria would have a big say on the outcome, maybe even Syria would be involved. It must be noted that Hezbollah have over 100,000 missiles and other surprises which Nasralla said can reach all areas in Israel, including Dimona and the Israeli gas fields, such destruction of vital infrastructure in Israel and the massive loss of life is not something Israel will contemplate especially when Lebanon is destroyed but Iran is still standing. As for the Saudis they may have billions of dollars of military equipment but their army is a joke, I doubt they can wipe their own behinds, who will fly their aircraft? The Israelis know and respect Hezbollah they know it will be no walk in the park, Israels problem is that every day that goes by, Iran and Hezbollah grow stronger, what a conundrum.

  • 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.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qvUYtOr-Xc

  • 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." http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-08/iran-threatens-america-if-new-sanctions-pass-us-military-region-would-be-risk?page=1

  • 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" http://www.thetower.org/4597oc-report-hezbollah-acquired-advanced-missiles-that-could-threaten-israeli-navy-us-6th-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".

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-business-risk-palestinian-territories/overseas-business-risk-the-occupied-palestinian-territories

      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.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/israel-boycott-crime-bill-settlements-senators-support-law-a7852101.html
      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” (https://bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds)

      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, http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/bds-changed-its-goal-statement-once-again
      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” (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call)

      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.” (http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro).

    • 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; http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02009R1223-20170303&from=EN

      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
      https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0198_Judgment.pdf
      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

      INFORMATION
      (Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, s 1)

      Magistrates’ Court (Code )
      Date:
      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". https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-business-risk-palestinian-territories/overseas-business-risk-the-occupied-palestinian-territories

    • 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
      2. PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY 183 KATZRIN 12900 ISRAEL.
      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 http://www.golanwines.co.il indicates an Israeli country code [il]
      4. Barcode first three digits 729 indicates Israeli origin, although not conclusive proof of origin.
      5. Hebrew text.
      As 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. https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/20151111_interpretative_notice_indication_of_origin_en.pdf
      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. http://curia.europa.eu/juris/celex.jsf?celex=62008CC0386&lang1=en&type=TXT&ancre=

    • 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..http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;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". https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nQTjKplxQE

    • 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 https://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/articles/bilmes-iraq-afghan-war-cost-wp 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 https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html. 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 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,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
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=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."
      "Indeed"
      #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. https://sputniknews.com/us/201510201028835944-us-stingers-missiles-syrian-rebels-mccain/

  • 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". http://mepeace.org/forum/topics/uri-avnery-bibi-and-the-yoyos

    • “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". http://www.newsweek.com/netanyahu-israel-obama-311209

      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.

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