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Total number of comments: 1736 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

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

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  • Rick Santorum says murder of Iranian scientist was 'wonderful thing'
    • Our Terrorism laws are very broad intentionally so, sections 1 and 2 of the 2006 act drew heavy criticism at the time because people were afraid of praising someone like Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters, today my reading of it is, you are allowed to say you understand certain acts of terrorism but you are not allowed to justify them, in my opinion Cummings not only justified them he encourages more of the same, In the UK the police handle the first stage of any prosecution then the crown prosecution service headed by the Director of public prosecutions decide if a case goes forward and even then I think the Attorney General can intervene at any stage.Here is a brief summary of section 1 of the 2006 Terrorism Act. Encouragement of terrorism (section 1)

      The Bill originally contained a separate (and highly controversial) offence of “Glorifying Terrorism.” This has now been included in the wider offence of “Encouragement.”

      The offence is committed if a person makes a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all members of the public to whom it is published as “a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to them” to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism. The person must publish the statement intending members of public to be directly or indirectly induced by it to commit or prepare such acts. Alternatively, the person making the statement must be reckless as to whether members of the public will be directly or indirectly encouraged etc.

      Statements “likely to encourage” will include a statement that “glorifies” the commission or preparation of terrorist offences, where the public could reasonably be expected to infer that the conduct being glorified should be emulated by them.

      Where a person is charged with this offence, and it is not proved that he intended to encourage or induce acts of terrorism, it is a defence to show that it is was clear that the statement did not express his views, and was not endorsed by him.

      Encouragement of terrorism carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment.

    • Lysias. Here is UK definition of Terrorism. Terrorism: interpretation.E+W+S+N.I.
      This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

      (1)In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—

      (a)the action falls within subsection (2),

      (b)the use or threat is designed to influence the government [F1or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

      (c)the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [F2, racial] or ideological cause.

      (2)Action falls within this subsection if it—

      (a)involves serious violence against a person,

      (b)involves serious damage to property,

      (c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

      (d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

      (e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

      (3)The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

      (4)In this section—

      (a)“action” includes action outside the United Kingdom,

      (b)a reference to any person or to property is a reference to any person, or to property, wherever situated,

      (c)a reference to the public includes a reference to the public of a country other than the United Kingdom, and

      (d)“the government” means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.

    • This complaint was delivered to my local police station, they say they will forward it to the Metropolitan police, it should be interesting to see what excuses they can find to reject it, will keep you posted.

      I wish to make a complaint regarding an article which was published in the Guardian newspaper on 12th January 2012, it was headlined, a covert campaign is the only way to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and written by Andrew Cummings, a former advisor to various Governments. He can be contacted at the Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N19GU.
      The article is a clear breach of sections 1 and 2 of the 2006 Terrorism act, which makes it a criminal offence to publish material which calls for the direct or indirect encouragement and/or glorification of Terrorism as defined by the 2000 Terrorism act. I enclose the evidence. The context surrounding the allegations are the ongoing acts of Terrorism, including bomb explosions and murders of Iran’s nuclear scientists working on nuclear issues.
      Andrew Cummings article not only makes it plain that he supports these covert terrorist acts, but also that they should continue. It is clear that the unknown perpetrators and others could not but find encouragement directly or indirectly in this article, especially when advocated by a former senior advisor to past Governments on these very matters.
      I call on you to prosecute him.

    • Rick Sanitarium. An institute for long term mentally ill people.

  • Silenced in Seattle, SeaMAC presses on with ads against settlements, child imprisonment and collective punishment
    • Annie These ads are superb, they remind me of Jeffrey Blankforts interview in 2006 Portland Independent media centre, Here.. http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/12/350717.shtml He was awakened by a friend who owned a Chinese junk with a 17ft sail and asked Jeffrey what slogan to put on the sail, Jeffrey said how about "NO WAR FOR ISRAEL" he went to the 101 right over the freeway, from noon to evening, people would beep their horns, then at night he would play a 12 volt battery light on the sign. All perfectly legal, AND ALL VERY CHEAP. You are my hero JB. How about this for a more professional touch, Also for when APAIC are in town. here http://www.mobile-billboards.co.uk/

  • Benny Morris dreams of a 'less Arab' Israel
    • People like Morris can never walk back these racist comments, I am glad he made them, now he can be called a true racist at any meetings he attends.

  • Incitement: Washington Institute for Near East Policy applauds covert war on Iran
  • Talks continue in Jordan as Israeli building binge rolls on in the occupied territories
    • The PA have broken their promises again, they said they would not talk with the Israelis until settlement construction [ongoing war crimes] cease in both East Jerusalem and the West Bank, they have had two rounds of meetings in Jordan even when new construction plans are being unveiled by the Israelis, they are desperate for talks and will grab those transient "sweets" possibly and I hope I am wrong about this, forgo the real political and legal progress they could make at the UN and separately at the ICC, unfortunately the PA have reputations that go before them on these matters, Saeb Erekat certainly has "previous" [the Palestine papers}. The Israelis/US and the Quartet have an agenda, it does not involve the UN and especially the ICC. The Israelis do seem very concerned about those possible PA options but they believe, not without justification that the PA is a beaten docket, I hope they are wrong.

  • Activists respond to Sodastream's defense of profiting off the occupation
    • Adam, Thanks for this report, the Co-op Sweden claims to have the results of an investigation that justify,in their view, the marketing of soda stream products. Co-op Sweden has refused to share the report with the Swedish activists. This report could be most illuminating, because the Co-op is owned by its members any member can ask for a copy. Hope you can do a follow up on this article Adam since these illegal business enterprises and settlements go to the heart of the problem.

  • Trying to save two-state consensus, 'Washington Post' invokes 'demographic' threat
    • Because a two state solution is what the UN and all other manifestations of world opinion can agree on, that objective must try to be obtained through legal means, BDS and political pressure until that goal, for whatever reason is no longer feasable, in which case a single state would by default become unavoidable. Unfortunately the Israelis most certainly do not have this in mind, rather they intend to take the whole of the land of Israel and consign the Palestinians to.... choose your description.. Bantustans, Homelands, Cantons, Reservations, I suspect the World would see Prisons as a more apt title.

  • Ynet: Support for Israel on American campuses is kerplunking
  • Dumb as rocks ('Washington Post' says giving Palestinians access to quarries will 'advance the peace process')
    • What Ross does not say is that the quarrying activities undertaken by the Israeli occupying authorities are completlely illegal and contrary to Customary International Law, particularly the Hague regulations 1907 articles 55 and 43. My comments here have been posted before and they illustrate those aspects of International Law which Israel have broken and which the Israeli court took no notice.

      Two reports from Zafrir Rinat and Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on 28 Dec 2011 give some details on how the Israeli high court arrived at its decision on Yesh Dins petition to it involving commander of the Israeli defence forces and others. See Commander of IDF v Yesh Din and others Known as the Quarries case (here http://www.yesh-din.org/sys/images/File/QuarriesPetitionEng%5B1%5D.pdf ).
      Here are a few of my own notes on the decision I have not seen the decision in full yet. The decision was perverse in the extreme. Under customary international law, the 1907 Hague regulations and the 1949 Geneva conventions, the military commander of the occupying authority must act within the occupied Palestinian territories(OPT) according to the narrow parameters of these laws which are:
      1 Military needs and/or
      2 To benefit the local protected population
      Under article 55 of Hague, the commander or civil administrator is allowed to sell crops and minerals (using local labour) for the two reasons above.
      The minerals in this case, quarrying material, under the rules of war may be mined (in this in my opinion the court made an error) in the same way and in the same proportion as was done before the occupation began(continuity). The problem for the court is that the quarries were opened after the occupation began, so the continuity which the court claimed should continue did not in fact exist. See paragraph 71, p19 of Yesh Din petition linked above.
      Second, acting as trustee and administrator, the commander does not have the power to grant concessions or to transfer property rights and interest other than to ensure public order and safety in the OPT in breach of customary international law. See Hague regulation 43(the mini constitution of occupation). Obviously the sale of this material, 94% of which goes to Israel proper defeats the trust at the expense of the true beneficiary, the protected local population. The leasing of these property rights and interests, usually for 49 years with a further option also directly contradicts this trust, since occupation is supposed to be temporary. The usufructuary principle inherent in article 55 of Hague is breached in several other ways, the judge said mining did not affect the capital of the property – clearly this is not the case, the quarries have a finite existence and are not replaceable, as is for instance, fruit from a tree. As a non renewable public natural resource they are clearly Palestinian owned resources. WHAT IF THEY HAD BEEN DIAMONDS?

      (1) An earlier decision in the Israeli high court which ruled that the Hague regulations prohibit
      the exploitation of resources of occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying country. “The military commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interest in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his (i.e. the military commander’s) needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation” [HCJ 393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative V Commander of IDF forces. Honourable justice A Barak 1983].

      (2) The Israeli state attorney’s office relied on this principle in its response to the petition The Ma’ale Adumin Municipality filed to exempt it from paying for burying Palestinian waste in the Abu Dis waste-disposal site:

      It is absolutely clear that the powers specified in Article 55 too are subject to the fundamental principal involving the powers of the military commander in territory that is subject to belligerent occupation, as appears from Article 43 (Hague 1907) whereby the area is not an open field for economic exploitation. Therefore the entire authority of the military commander in the region is exercised for security interests or for civilian needs of the population living in the territory, and this includes also the authority under Article 55.

      (3) 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).
      The reasons advanced by the court in dismissing the petition are similar to the reasons the Israelis gave in drilling for oil in the Sinai peninsula, namely what was once desert was now a thriving industry (make the desert bloom) even the US government rejected that line of reasoning. Also in rejecting the petition judge Dorit Beinisch said the Isreal/Palestine interim agreement permits the quarries to operate in the present manner until a final status agreement is signed. This is also not correct, the PLO is legally prevented from entering into agreements with Israel that would undermine the interests of the Palestinian people under international law, even if such agreements were born out of mutual consent, because as a natural consequence of a state of belligerent occupation parties are not on an equal footing. This limits the ability of the authorities of the OPT to act freely without military pressure in the interests of the occupied population. The provisions set out in the Geneva convention prohibit the conclusion of agreements in which the imbalanced position of the two parties would coerce the authorities of the occupied territory to sign agreements hampering the rights of the occupied population.
      Article 7(i) of the Geneva convention strictly prohibits the concluding of agreements that adversely affect the rights of protected persons and in all circumstances, customary international law trumps any administrative act by the occupier or any agreement entered into by representatives of the the occupied protected population. See http://www.alhaq.org/publications/publications-index/item/exploring-the-illegality-of-land-swap-agreements-under-occupation
      Numerous UN resolutions, notably UN 465(1980) which the US did not veto, determined that Israel not change the physical character or demographic composition of the OPT are also instructive here, clearly Israel behaves above the law, and in a manner that thinks it owns the west bank, and all its resources. I can’t help thinking that judge Beinisch took some lessons from Tzipy Livni when the minister of justice said “I was minister of justice, I am a lawyer……but I am against law……international law in particular, law in general.”(the Palestinian papers). It is quite clear Palestinians seeking justice need not apply to the Israeli high court.

  • Is Paul a precursor of a more presentable candidate in 2016?
    • In my above comment I did not Imply that Iran could win any such confict only that in any realistic cost/benefit analysis the US, just as in Iraq and Afghanistan could not win and would lose on a bigger scale than in those two wars.

    • Dumvitaestspest Britain sends its best warships to the Gulf In a war with Iran the UK and US would be advised to remember the war games played in the Persian Gulf in 2002, then General Paul Van Riper of the red team sank 16 of the US fleet with nothing more than small boats and other unconventional hardware

      Astutely and very covertly, Van Riper armed his civilian marine craft and deployed them near the US fleet, which never expected an attack from small pleasure boats. Faced with a blunt US ultimatum to surrender, Force Red suddenly went on the offensive: and achieved complete tactical surprise. Force Red's prop-driven aircraft suddenly were swarming around the US warships, making Kamikaze dives. Some of the pleasure boats made suicide attacks. Others fired Silkworm cruise missiles from close range, and sunk a carrier, the largest ship in the US fleet, along with two helicopter-carriers loaded with marines. The sudden strike was reminiscent of the Al Qaeda sneak attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Yet, the Navy was unprepared. When it was over, most of the US fleet had been destroyed. Sixteen US warships lay on the bottom, and the rest were in disarray. Thousands of American sailors were dead, dying, or wounded.

      If the games had been real, it would have been the worst US naval defeat since Pearl Harbor.

      What happened next became controversial. Instead of declaring Force Red the victor, JOINTFOR Command raised the sunken ships from the muck, brought the dead sailors back to life, and resumed the games as if nothing unusual had happened. [Rense .com Myth of US invincibility floats in the Persian Gulf.

      Of course he did not factor in the sunburn and other anti ship missiles Iran has recieved from China, the sunburn an unstoppable sea skimming missile which can be fired from anywhere and can sink a large warship, or the many submarines and other undersea surprises the US navy would have to face. Bottom line the US surface fleet with the aircraft carriers most vunerable could be turned into submarines overnight, low tech is lethel when in the hands of a resourceful and determined opponent. The Shia also take their shrouds to the battlefield. If the US/ Israel only decided just to hit Irans nuclear facilities causing a hugh dirty bomb effect all over the middle east then this would break every military and political rule in the playbook ie leaving Irans retaliatory capacity intact [ Dan Pletch Director, centre Int studies and diplomacy]. And so a massive attack would have to target all Irans navel ports and military installations which would neither be limited nor surgical opening up the middle east to a widespread war and global economic chaos,will US/ Israel do it, I personally doubt it but after watching the Iowa primary, who knows?

    • Paul is campaigning for the GOP nomination he is head and shoulders above any other candidate, in a face off with Obama, Paul could not but open up a healthy debate in US on Foreign Policy. In the meantime how about this poster for Pauls campaign.
      See here:- http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd97/andii_beave/H%20Album/IsraelAmerica.jpg

  • F. W. de Klerk on why apartheid will fail in Israel/Palestine
  • Palestinians fulfill Quartet's request. Israelis don't. Guess who 'Washington Post' blames?
    • Maybe I am being too cynical, Annie you are right about the Quartet and the proposals but the aim of the Quartet and US/ Israel is to get the PA around that table for two reasons 1 To stop further progress at the UN and separately action at the ICC and 2 To play for more time so that more facts on the ground can be achieved. If the PA can be fooled again into interminable negotiations while playing footsie under the table while their tormentors steal, ethnically cleanse and murder the Palestinians, more fool them.

    • Unfortunately Annie the Quartet did call in its last statement for the two sides to get round that famous table "without delay or preconditions" [ Jerusalem Post Quartet again calls for resumption of direct talks. 15-12-2011] the PA are making rods for their own backs again by meeting with the Israelis, before telling both them and the Quartet, no meetings until past agreements on settlements have been observed and future meetings must be based on International Law, the Palestinians must realise the Quartet is only taking the path of least resistance here, and when they see how the PA folds quicker than a chinese laundry, as they have done in the past, this is not unexpected

  • Israeli Supreme Court: Israeli companies are entitled to West Bank natural resources; international law must adapt to long-term occupation
    • ritzl I agree with you Although I am no lawyer the question of title, reparations etc, unlawful dispossession in breach of International are endless and have not been persued as of yet to my knowledge,that Israeli Lawfare group "Shurat Ha Din" have the right idea they also have deep pockets [I wonder where the money comes from] and with very little and pathetic material to work with. But at least they are serious and are "having a go" I wish they worked for us. The Palestinians could gain enormously by using all the legal tools at their disposal. I am waiting for Sabah Al-Mukhtar to help me with some of these questions he is at present fighting to save the life of Tariq Aziz, but you are right this is the way to go.

    • Sorry this comment was posted earlier on a slightly different topic sorry about that I think it is very important so I hope you bare with me if you have seen it before. Two reports from Zafrir Rinat and Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on 28 Dec 2011 give some details on how the Israeli high court arrived at its decision on Yesh Dins petition to it involving commander of the Israeli defence forces and others. See Commander of IDF v Yesh Din and others Known as the Quarries case.
      Here are a few of my own notes on the decision I have not seen the decision in full yet. The decision was perverse in the extreme. Under customary international law, the 1907 Hague regulations and the 1949 Geneva conventions, the military commander of the occupying authority must act within the occupied Palestinian territories(OPT) according to the narrow parameters of these laws which are:
      1 Military needs and/or
      2 To benefit the local protected population
      Under article 55 of Hague, the commander or civil administrator is allowed to sell crops and minerals (using local labour) for the two reasons above.
      The minerals in this case, quarrying material, under the rules of war may be mined (in this in my opinion the court made an error) in the same way and in the same proportion as was done before the occupation began(continuity). The problem for the court is that the quarries were opened after the occupation began, so the continuity which the court claimed should continue did not in fact exist. See paragraph 71, p19 of Yesh Din petition linked above.
      Second, acting as trustee and administrator, the commander does not have the power to grant concessions or to transfer property rights and interest other than to ensure public order and safety in the OPT in breach of customary international law. See Hague regulation 43(the mini constitution of occupation). Obviously the sale of this material, 94% of which goes to Israel proper defeats the trust at the expense of the true beneficiary, the protected local population. The leasing of these property rights and interests, usually for 49 years with a further option also directly contradicts this trust, since occupation is supposed to be temporary. The usufructuary principle inherent in article 55 of Hague is breached in several other ways, the judge said mining did not affect the capital of the property – clearly this is not the case, the quarries have a finite existence and are not replaceable, as is for instance, fruit from a tree. As a non renewable public natural resource they are clearly Palestinian owned resources. WHAT IF THEY HAD BEEN DIAMONDS?

      (1) An earlier decision in the Israeli high court which ruled that the Hague regulations prohibit
      the exploitation of resources of occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying country. “The military commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interest in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his (i.e. the military commander’s) needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation” [HCJ 393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative V Commander of IDF forces. Honourable justice A Barak 1983].

      (2) The Israeli state attorney’s office relied on this principle in its response to the petition The Ma’ale Adumin Municipality filed to exempt it from paying for burying Palestinian waste in the Abu Dis waste-disposal site:

      It is absolutely clear that the powers specified in Article 55 too are subject to the fundamental principal involving the powers of the military commander in territory that is subject to belligerent occupation, as appears from Article 43 (Hague 1907) whereby the area is not an open field for economic exploitation. Therefore the entire authority of the military commander in the region is exercised for security interests or for civilian needs of the population living in the territory, and this includes also the authority under Article 55.

      (3) 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).
      The reasons advanced by the court in dismissing the petition are similar to the reasons the Israelis gave in drilling for oil in the Sinai peninsula, namely what was once desert was now a thriving industry (make the desert bloom) even the US government rejected that line of reasoning. Also in rejecting the petition judge Dorit Beinisch said the Isreal/Palestine interim agreement permits the quarries to operate in the present manner until a final status agreement is signed. This is also not correct, the PLO is legally prevented from entering into agreements with Israel that would undermine the interests of the Palestinian people under international law, even if such agreements were born out of mutual consent, because as a natural consequence of a state of belligerent occupation parties are not on an equal footing. This limits the ability of the authorities of the OPT to act freely without military pressure in the interests of the occupied population. The provisions set out in the Geneva convention prohibit the conclusion of agreements in which the imbalanced position of the two parties would coerce the authorities of the occupied territory to sign agreements hampering the rights of the occupied population.
      Article 7(i) of the Geneva convention strictly prohibits the concluding of agreements that adversely affect the rights of protected persons and in all circumstances, customary international law trumps any administrative act by the occupier or any agreement entered into by representatives of the the occupied protected population. See link to alhaq.org
      Numerous UN resolutions, notably UN 465(1980) which the US did not veto, determined that Israel not change the physical character or demographic composition of the OPT are also instructive here, clearly Israel behaves above the law, and in a manner that thinks it owns the west bank, and all its resources. I can’t help thinking that judge Beinisch took some lessons from Tzipy Livni when the minister of justice said “I was minister of justice, I am a lawyer……but I am against law……international law in particular, law in general.”(the Palestinian papers). It is quite clear Palestinians seeking justice need not apply to the Israeli high court.

  • The Amman talks: Nothing from nothing leaves nothing
    • It's time for honesty regarding the legal positions taken by both the Israelis and the PA. the Israeli position as endorsed by the likud charter states that Israel is the whole of the land of Israel and that settlements are a natural outcome of that fact. The PA want to base any agreement on International Law and UN Resolutions, the circle cannot be squared.
      I am reminded of a similiar dilemma experienced by the British and Irish governments in 1985 trying to forge an agreement (the Anglo Irish agreement) on the one hand both sides tried to ignore articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution which claimed sovereignty over the whole island of Ireland and its territorial seas, and the British who said that in International Law that Northern Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom.
      Here is how the agreement was sold to their respective electorates, the Irish version published in Dublin said:
      "Agreement between the government of Ireland and the government of the United Kingdom". See here:- https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:VA-ckRZeATkJ:www.dfa.ie/uploads/documents/anglo-irish%2520agreement%25201985.pdf+republic+of+ireland+anglo+irish+agrrment+1985&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiLUdta_1eTLSdYGitVu-cwCE41kVzutfcwWDLWHgUocqCXfojzcy2ebhQUpplSXYfnkGi3inOzHINoMO-Lttpnliv0nF88Xr9WPOSJU1SJCPDHT3l-sCMBBU7YfpJMb0KqnCRM&sig=AHIEtbTCIEoA8jCmRf7E1ArTeOfvuuL_zQ

      The British version published by her Majestys stationary office said "Agreement between the government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Ireland". see here:- http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/hmso/aia.htm

      Notice the difference...

      The Irish version excludes Northern Ireland as part of the UK which is the officially designated name of the state and although in practice the Irish government recognised Northern Irelands defacto position as part of the UK it was precluded from recognising its de jure status (this was established in the Kevin Boland case in the Irish supreme court in 1973/74). The Irish goverment said in effect that they had never recognised Northern Ireland as a de jure part of the UK and so the Anglo-Irish agreement 1985 tried again to deceive the electorates of both states with the Machiavellian disappearance of Northern Ireland from the heading of the agreement. The electorates were not fooled and the Anglo-Irish agreement was dead in the water, it was only when the Irish government amended the constitution that an agreement with the Unionist community was made possible, similiarly the PA must insist on legal facts and certainties and must not be a part of any Machiavellian plots or maneuvers by the US/Israel.

  • Paul's challenge to progressives
    • Glenn Greenwald is Hors de combat today so when he recommends another article on the presidential race, you can bet its a good one and it is please check this Matt Taibbi piece out here:-http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/iowa-the-meaningless-sideshow-begins-20120103

    • I do hope Ron Paul does not have the capacity to split mondoweiss readers too much. Remember "The life of Brian" .....

      Graham Chapman:- "are you the Judean Peoples front"
      John Cleese:- ".....F... O.. we are the Peoples front of Judea"
      Terry Jones:- "what happened to the popular front"
      John Cleese:- "He's over there..."
      All:- "SPLITTER!"

    • Mooser, You are saying that all politicians are liars, how cynical of you but also true, in which case why vote for anybody, Paul at least offers something different from the status quo, Nader and Kucinich at least see some of Pauls good policies which also have the potential to save millions of lives in endless wars and trillions of dollars. Seanmebride I agree wholeheartedly with your comments on this and on your other comments on the Ratner article.

  • Expendables of a waning empire
    • Most military historians make the claim that air power has never been a decisive factor in a military conflict. I would go further and suggest that the drone campaign is counterproductive especially in a war like Afghanistan, the burning hatred of the US these strikes engender in the local population can only be imagined. But I bet they are creating far more enemies than they are killing.

  • Occupation economy: taking from the very land they stand on
    • Just to add, the majority of the produce which comes from the Jordan valley, in a recent study by the Human rights group Bt'selem found that the Israelis had taken control of 77.5 Per cent of this area and prevented Palestinians from using the land or remaining there. Israel has taken control of most of the water resources in the area and has earmarked them for the exclusive use of the settlers {9,400 in 37 settlements and 7 outposts]. The water allocated to the settlers in this area has enabled them to develop intensive farming methods and to work the land all year round, with most of the produce being exported. The water allocated to these settlers is almost one third the quantity of water that is accessible to the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, water consumption in Bedouin communities for instance is equivalent to the quantity that the UN has set as the minimum needed to survive in humanitarian disaster areas [ B'tselem report. Dispossession and exploitation; Israel's policy in the Jordan valley and northern dead sea May 2011] Under International Law water is a state owned immovable natural resource sometimes more precious than oil in this area. UN assembly resolution Dec 22nd 2009 states that the Israeli occupying power, not to exploit, to cause loss and depletion of or endanger the natural resources of the OPT, including East Jerusalem and the Occupied Golan Heights.

    • Good article Paul, " Irrigators, Farmers, Builders and Quarry owners the occupation is an opportunity to make a living, so it is indeed profitable" Yes and it is also highly illegal, water, minerals and other property,rights and interests stolen from Palestinian territory in breach of customary International Law can only be remedied when the Palestinian leadership stop playing footsie under that famous table and challenge that theft in the appropriate legal forums. I made a longer comment regarding the perverse decision by the Israeli High Court on Phillip Weiss's Report.Joker scratched Tel Aviv in BDS victory, Sorry I jumped the gun.

  • Report: 'Joker' scratched Tel Aviv-- in BDS victory
    • Sorry link to Yesh Din v Commander of Israeli defence forces and others, The Quarries case,you can find this link on my comment under BDS victory dated the 24th Dec 2011.

    • Horrified by the previous article on " Joker" and the number of Mondoweiss comments who did not know who "Joker" was or the dance "dubstep". I am an old age pensioner and I'm entitled not to know. Now get with it, you bunch of squares. On the topic of BDS Two reports from Zafrir Rinat and Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on 28 Dec 2011 give some details on how the Israeli high court arrived at its decision on Yesh Dins petition to it involving commander of the Israeli defence forces and others. See link to yesh-din.org
      Here are a few of my own notes on the decision I have not seen the decision in full yet. The decision was perverse in the extreme. Under customary international law, the 1907 Hague regulations and the 1949 Geneva conventions, the military commander of the occupying authority must act within the occupied Palestinian territories(OPT) according to the narrow parameters of these laws which are:
      1 Military needs and/or
      2 To benefit the local protected population
      Under article 55 of Hague, the commander or civil administrator is allowed to sell crops and minerals (using local labour) for the two reasons above.
      The minerals in this case, quarrying material, under the rules of war may be mined (in this in my opinion the court made an error) in the same way and in the same proportion as was done before the occupation began(continuity). The problem for the court is that the quarries were opened after the occupation began, so the continuity which the court claimed should continue did not in fact exist. See paragraph 71, p19 of Yesh Din petition linked above.
      Second, acting as trustee and administrator, the commander does not have the power to grant concessions or to transfer property rights and interest other than to ensure public order and safety in the OPT in breach of customary international law. See Hague regulation 43(the mini constitution of occupation). Obviously the sale of this material, 94% of which goes to Israel proper defeats the trust at the expense of the true beneficiary, the protected local population. The leasing of these property rights and interests, usually for 49 years with a further option also directly contradicts this trust, since occupation is supposed to be temporary. The usufructuary principle inherent in article 55 of Hague is breached in several other ways, the judge said mining did not affect the capital of the property – clearly this is not the case, the quarries have a finite existence and are not replaceable, as is for instance, fruit from a tree. As a non renewable public natural resource they are clearly Palestinian owned resources. WHAT IF THEY HAD BEEN DIAMONDS?

      (1) An earlier decision in the Israeli high court which ruled that the Hague regulations prohibit
      the exploitation of resources of occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying country. “The military commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interest in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his (i.e. the military commander’s) needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation” [HCJ 393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative V Commander of IDF forces. Honourable justice A Barak 1983].

      (2) The Israeli state attorney’s office relied on this principle in its response to the petition The Ma’ale Adumin Municipality filed to exempt it from paying for burying Palestinian waste in the Abu Dis waste-disposal site:

      It is absolutely clear that the powers specified in Article 55 too are subject to the fundamental principal involving the powers of the military commander in territory that is subject to belligerent occupation, as appears from Article 43 (Hague 1907) whereby the area is not an open field for economic exploitation. Therefore the entire authority of the military commander in the region is exercised for security interests or for civilian needs of the population living in the territory, and this includes also the authority under Article 55.

      (3) 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).
      The reasons advanced by the court in dismissing the petition are similar to the reasons the Israelis gave in drilling for oil in the Sinai peninsula, namely what was once desert was now a thriving industry (make the desert bloom) even the US government rejected that line of reasoning. Also in rejecting the petition judge Dorit Beinisch said the Isreal/Palestine interim agreement permits the quarries to operate in the present manner until a final status agreement is signed. This is also not correct, the PLO is legally prevented from entering into agreements with Israel that would undermine the interests of the Palestinian people under international law, even if such agreements were born out of mutual consent, because as a natural consequence of a state of belligerent occupation parties are not on an equal footing. This limits the ability of the authorities of the OPT to act freely without military pressure in the interests of the occupied population. The provisions set out in the Geneva convention prohibit the conclusion of agreements in which the imbalanced position of the two parties would coerce the authorities of the occupied territory to sign agreements hampering the rights of the occupied population.
      Article 7(i) of the Geneva convention strictly prohibits the concluding of agreements that adversely affect the rights of protected persons and in all circumstances, customary international law trumps any administrative act by the occupier or any agreement entered into by representatives of the the occupied protected population. See http://www.alhaq.org/publications/publications-index/item/exploring-the-illegality-of-land-swap-agreements-under-occupation
      Numerous UN resolutions, notably UN 465(1980) which the US did not veto, determined that Israel not change the physical character or demographic composition of the OPT are also instructive here, clearly Israel behaves above the law, and in a manner that thinks it owns the west bank, and all its resources. I can’t help thinking that judge Beinisch took some lessons from Tzipy Livni when the minister of justice said “I was minister of justice, I am a lawyer……but I am against law……international law in particular, law in general.”(the Palestinian papers). It is quite clear Palestinians seeking justice need not apply to the Israeli high court.

  • Ron Paul and the left
    • I regard myself as on the left of centre in the UK which watching US politics is akin to being a rabid communist, but in the second world war who did not support Stalin in his eastern offensive against Hitler. We all knew uncle Joe was a mass murderer and Dictator, and yet he was deemed to be the lesser of two evils. And since Ron Paul is neither of the above and is unlightly to be able to implement his radical domestic economic agenda without the support of Congress, support for Paul could save hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in perpetual wars, I think after studying Obama recently at the UN and AIPAC I think Ron Paul would be the lesser of two evils.

  • It's one country
    • Under the laws of war the Hague and Geneva conventions the Commander of the IDF is allowed to administer the territory under occupation as a form of trust, he is allowed to use the land under the rules of usufruct Hague 55,He must use the land and buildings only for military needs or to benefit the local protected population, not the settlers obviously since the are not part of the protected population,here is Geneva convention article 4.....Persons protected by the convention are those who, at any 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.The Israeli High court do not agree with Yesh Dins sensible reading of that article, The Israeli High court justice ruled that the hague regulations prohibit the exploitation of resources of Occupied Territory for the economic needs of the occupying country.'' The millitary commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interests in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his [i.e. the military commander's] needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation '' [ HCJ393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative v Commander of IDF forces. Honorable justice A Barak 1983. The issue of exploitation of natural resources of occupied territory arose following the occupation of Iraq by the forces of the USA and UK, the two countries made a commitment to the UN security council that all 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] Clearly the granting of concessions is in excess of the powers of the Commander since they benefit the occupying power only, pillage is the only word that is suitable here. Please see my comment on 24th Dec BDS victory for link to quarries case Yesh Din v Commander of IDF and others.I need to contribute more to this discussion unfortunately Ihave had computer trouble,

  • Two revealing headlines
    • You are right American,but might I add with the almost total support of Congress,which is all the GOI think they need, nothing will be said before the next US election, Europe for the most part will remain mum and follow the craven US,short of mass murder the US will do nothing, a couple of murders a day and slow ethnic cleansing is what the GOI know they can get away with, only civil society throughout the world can shame their Governments into taking punitive measures to end this abomination.

  • BDS comes to Penn
    • These smears and lies are so predictable that any advertising put out before the event should anticipate the smears with preemptive warnings about them thereby ridiculing any subsequent attack.

  • BDS victory: Veolia loses huge waste-treatment contract in London boroughs
    • Pabelmont:
      I first came across the resolution in the 1957 book by Gerhard Von Glahn 'The occupation of enemy territory' Pages 194-95. He published this in full because of its importance. I could only find one copy in the UK which is in the bowels of the British Library in Euston, London.
      This was used by Attorney Michael Sfard in Yesh Din V Commander of Israeli defence force. The Quarries case page 21.
      See my earlier post of Dec 24th at 4:56pm for link to Yesh Din petition.
      The full resolution I also found on the encyclopedia of the Palestinian problem by Issa Nakhleh:
      http://www.palestine-encyclopedia.com/EPP/Chapter38_1of4.htm
      But please pay note to July resolution not the January one.

    • The above Resolution was used in the petition to the Israeli High Court in Yesh Din v Commander of Israeli Defence Forces in the Quarries case, A fascinating case both from a legal and political point of view. Most International Law breaches documented there, a must read for mondoweiss readers over Christmas, especially insomniacs and/or Lawyers see here:- http://www.yesh-din.org/sys/images/File/QuarriesPetitionEng%5B1%5D.pdf

    • Annie,
      I was not Involved with this although I know Danial Machova [solicitor] did a lot of the ground work, I am involved in other prospective legal actions involving Title and Property, Rights and Interests, specifically, property from OPT being sold in UK stores in breach of 1 international Law, and the Resolution passed in 1943 at the International Law conference, briefly its mandate was to upgrade the Hague Regulations as 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.

      As you can see, the occupant nor his associates or agents has the right to transfer a title of any property, rights and interests whether private or public to a third country in breach of International Law.

      This resolution can be used hopefully in our domestic courts. For instance our Sales of Goods Act states that a retailer must be able to pass good title for a sale to be legal etc. I will hopefully have more information in the near future.

      Harry

    • Yes Annie, Roger, Roger.

    • Good news indeed, the activists persuaded these London councils to exclude Veolia from public contracts to its "grave professional misconduct". Under the UK Public Contract Regulations 2006, a contracting authority may exclude an economic operator from bidding for a contract or may reject any such bid where it is found that the individual or organisation has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of his business or profession. The regulation follows European Law, directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts. Councils throughout the UK and throughout Europe must take this as a precedent or end up in court. Best Christmas present I've ever had.

  • Pentagon asks for extra $100 million to Israel for Iran defense (and Congress doubles the tip)
  • Europe asks: Where's Israel's proposal?
    • I agree with you Seafoid, The crucial part of that Quartet statement was ' without preconditions' which is taking the Israeli side completely, which amounts to getting around that famous table to talk forever and to quote Professor Finkelstein[he can't sing] whan he renders that famous childrens song " the wheels on the bus go round and round,round and round.......

    • If Israel did put proposals for its version of the two states solution people would be shocked,[well some people]. It would be like this, Israel, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been for 3000 years and will continue to be part of the ' Land of Israel' in our opinion the Palestinians are squatting on Israeli territory if they want to remain they must keep their heads down or they will be punished or expelled [thats happening now] this is the true Zionist vision, look at maps various Israeli Government depts put out obliterating the green line, or read Jabotinsky, Zionism never changes it has to be destroyed, that is why no honest proposals will be forthcoming.

  • Two critiques of Norman Finkelstein
    • Just to add the ordinary man in the street and thats who the BDS campaign is aimed at might not be inclined to boycotte if the objective is not supported by any resolution at the UN, any member state at the UN or any Judicial authority like the highest court in the world [ICJ] or even majority Palestinian opinion at this time. The one state solution is supported by none of these at the present time, so in my opinion Norman was being what Norman always is realistic and logical.

    • I don't recall N Finkelstein being against BDS, his opinion if I recall is that he is for BDS as long as it is focused on an obtainable objective one that the 95% of the World already believes is a just solution and will support. His objections to BDS are that 95% of that opinion may not support a one state solution since that is not attainable in the near future or in present conditions.

    • Norman Finkelstein is advocating what is realistic and what is possible at this point in time, which is all that anybody can do. He knows that 95% of that worlds population according to UN resolutions etc are on the two states side, and that US/Israel are the 5% on the recalcitrant side. His call to mobilise the 95% is correct as is his call for them to just apply the law, of course he is aware that if there was a major war in the Middle East, a war a significant number of people in the US are pushing for this could change the equation, in fact it could make Israels position physically problematical, similiarly an armed uprising as in South Africa could do the same thing, but this would not be in the Palestinians favour because of the disparity of arms. So we must and can only act on what is possible now, here the upgrading at the UN of Palestine as on observer state and access to the International Criminal Court open up new possibilities, remember the Israeli leadership have no immunity in this court, the specific charge that they are in breach of article 49.6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 directly or indirectly transferring citizens of the occupier into occupied territory would be impossible to defend, activists for Palestinian rights must never forget there are many ways to skin a cat, BDS is only 6 years old, the South African BDS model took many more years to take effect. In my opinion everything should be thrown at the Israelis until they realise the game is not worth the candle only then will they negotiate.

  • Israel says it's 'disgusting' for world to take stand on 'domestic affair' --settlers
    • In my opinion the Five permanent members if the security council the US,UK,China,France and Russia are above the Law, it was created that way after the second world war when Roosevelt and Churchill built into the archictecture of the UN the principle that the US and UK are above the Law for all time Stalin was persuaded and later France and China were added. In theory, for instance the aggressive war against Iraq was in breach of the UN charter and also carried out in disregard to the three other veto wielding powers China,France and Russia so in theory Illegal twice. Unfortunately if the other three put forward a resolution condemning of the other two it would be vetoed by them, now thats what I call impunity.

    • Just in the same way that Bank Ki-Moon had no right to tell the Palestinians that in effect they should not persue any further applications to other specialised agencies in the UN because of the US threat to withdraw funding from them if the Palestinians are admitted, how dare Ban tell the Palestinians whats good for them. On the other hand as far as Israel is concerned because Israel has no title to occupied territory and since Israel is in flagrant breach of International Law and Human rights in that regard it is incumbent on Ban to interfere.

    • Because the US has that VETO in the security council, Israel also has a free pass - in effect immunity for any action it deems neccessary to take. In practical terms therefore any military action inside or even outside Israeli territory is because of American protection a priori legal. Academic lawyers in their thousands may protest that Israel is in breach of International Laws, but it is of no consequence in the real world when there is no possibility of Israel being convicted for taking such action.
      It is meaningless to describe an action as illegal if there is no expection that the perpetrator of that 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.
      The ICC (International Criminal Court) on the other hand can hold individual Israeli leaders responsible even the prime minister and individual cabinet ministers - they have no immunity in this court and many charges could be laid at their feet, including directly and/or indirectly transferring citizens from the occupier to occupied territory in breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions article 49.6.

  • Columbia U book on Iraq war suggests Wolfie, Feith, Wurmser and Perle had 'Israeli interests, not just U.S. interests at heart'
    • After the Iraq debacle it would appear every American president has to learn the lessons of history by himself, and so we had the spectacle of Obama[the empty suit] regaling 3000 vets [at the 93rd annual conference of the American legion in August 2011] mouthing the well tailored sound bites to the assembled vets," you Vietnam veterans, did not always recieve the respect that you deserved, which was a National shame, but let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war, every single one." Surely those claims could not have gone unnoticed by some of those Vets, especially those who served under Col Harry G Summers jr, who when visiting Hanoi in 1975 told a Vietnamese officer "you know, you never defeated us on the battlefield" the officer replied " that may be so but it is irrelevent" oh for one of those Veterans to have done a Ray McGovern [ to H Clinton] and stood up and thrown that soundbite back at the Commander in Chief. As in Vietnam cutting edge technology from the most powerful military machine the world has known means nothing when pitted against a resourcful opponent, no matter how small, one example in the so called Sunni triangle in Iraq the resistance planted roadside bombs efp's [ explosively formed explosives] the cost of those bombs was approx 20 dollars each comprising a small ammount of high explosive, a metal pipe and a disc of copper, this easily constructed device has the capacity to wreck an M1 Abrams battle tank [ 5 million dollars] it can go right through it from front to back. The Iranians [ who else ] were blamed for introducing this 2nd World war technology into Iraq until the US found several small workshops turning out these discs in their thousands, now who would have thought that the Iraqi's would have the engineering skills to do such a thing they have only been in the engineering industry serving the oil sector for generations. The US then spent millions trying to defeat this simple bomb employing dozens of task forces and university think tanks all over the US they employed these countermeasures on military vehicles and were successful for a time until the insurgents came up with the ultimate triggering method a piece of string, game set and match. Then Bush signed the status of forces agreement. Similarly the Taliban employ the simple ied [improvised explosive device] using for the most part non metallic parts in almost undetectable bombs,these are the cause of most casualties in Afghanistan they are fertilizer based now the US are trying to monitor and regulate fertilizer sales in both Pakistan and Afghanistan both hugh farming communities, well good luck with that one, for more on this see, Sherwood Ross, Scoop Independent News 21st Dec 2011, US losing the battle against ied's in Afghanistan. The commanders of US forces think they are invincible flying their f16's and drones thinking that thos uneducated Pashstuns holed up in caves with out the capability to retrieve 2nd world war technology everyone else knows about. Someone should remind Obama only 14 at the time Col Summers made his statement that because he is a constitutional Law Professor he is probably no cleverer when it comes to the art of war than an uneducated foot soldier living in a cave. The thing that drives Obama is winning the next election what drives the Taliban is the Knowledge that he will be in Afghanistan all his life, he is fighting for self determination and self respect, the latter as Obama's performances at the UN and Apaic have proved has non. Winning the 2012 election may bring him victory but in regards to the war it is irrelevent.

  • UK, France, Germany and Portugal condemn Israeli plan to build 1,000 new settlements homes
    • Fine words but when asked what sanctions they are going to implement against continuing Israeli intransigence,they will say 'sanctions' of course not we do good business with our friend Israel, and by the way did you know they have 300 nuclear weapons.

  • Republicans want Jerusalem? Herzl promised pope, kaiser and sultan to leave it outside Jewish state
    • The attitude of the United States,Israel and the Quartet towards Palestinians could not be more plain,after the UN state recognition,they are telling the Palestinians in no uncertain terms that their appeals for International Law to be applied will not be met, their applications for access to the various legal mechanisms available to all other peoples will be rejected or were they cannot be blocked they will be threatened with the witholding of funds and other terrors of the world in any way they choose. In other words they are trying to make justice through access to justice impossible, telling them in effect they are a non people. The gauntlet has clearly been thrown down the Palestinians must take up the challenge by going straight down the middle with both feet,on the various UN agencies and particularly membership of the ICC. Failure to do so in my opinion will consign themselves to what zionism always had in mind for them imprisonment in Bantustans or expulsion.

  • Mainstream press sniggers at Ron Paul's antiwar message
  • More funding for Jewish museums in the West Bank
    • The Israeli Embassy in London s excuse for not extending the UK Ambassadors wife Samira Hassassians residency rights in Jerusalem so that she could continue a chemotherapy course for cancer are despicable,forcing her to return to Jerusalem or lose them. They refused to answere correspondence and she even went to the Israeli Embassy in person but was not allowed in. She caught an infection on the way back from Jerusalem and died 3 months later. Incredibly the Embassy blamed her husband for her death "what kind of husband sends his wife on such a trip when her health and life is at stake? this really is quite low" the spokesman said.[Guardian 16 dec 2011] That spokesman is lower than Human scum and should be sent back to Israel on the first plane.

  • US and Israel march in lockstep towards expansion of military detention
    • If Newt Gingrich believes that all Palestinians are terrorists and a US court can send a person who organises a charity to relieve the sufferings of a people under a ruthless military occupation to 65 years in prison[Holy Land Foundation]then its possible that coming down the pike, is legislation that could make anyone campaigning for Palestinian self determination or Human rights a suspect, in fact they probably already are, so open to interpretation is this legislation and meant to be [the chill effect] that you would not know you were a suspect until you were sharing a brig for the rest of your life with Phil Weiss and dozens of people who comment on Mondoweiss.

  • 'New Yorker' editor tells American readers one thing-- and Israeli readers something else
    • Cliff,

      You said "there are several embarrasing poll results that show the majority doesn't know squat about its own country". I agree, a series of surveys have proven that Fox viewers are woefully ignorant of current affairs, the latest study revealing that it is actually 'better to consume no news' than to watch Fox - you end up better informed (the slatest 21 Nov 2011 - poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University).

  • Obama to Palestine: Drop dead
    • Phil,
      it’s not just Obama who is telling the Palestinians to get lost, the Quartet must take some beating in that respect, who gave the Quartet the mandate to reject International Law, when they recently called on the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate “without preconditions”, the preconditions the Palestinians are insisting on are the freezing of all settlement activity as set out in phase one of the road map; …i.e. The Government of Israel immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001. And …consistent with the Mitchell report, GOI freezes all settlement activity [including natural growth of settlements]. In agreeing to breach the road map the Quartet have also agreed to ditch article 49.6 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which makes illegal the transfer of civilians from the occupier to occupied territory, also a grave war crime. In this the Quartet are fully in accord with Tzipy Livni when she said “I was Minister of Justice, I am a lawyer…but I am against law….International Law in particular, law in general” [the Palestinian papers]. The Quartet is now a farce, Tony Blair’s former political advisor to the Quartet Anis Nacour, had it right when he said “the inception of the Quartet was a smokescreen for the actions of the US and Israel buying time for allowing the GOI to do whatever they wanted to do i.e. facts on the ground”[Channel 4 Dispatches, Wonderful world of Tony Blair].The Palestinians must tell the Quartet that until they get an undertaking from the Israelis that they will follow past agreements based on International Law, Don’t bother them. They must follow through on their promises to get enhanced recognition at the various UN agencies and particularly to pursue war crimes charges [there are so many of them] through the International Criminal Court, JUST DO IT. Also it might be worth asking the Saudi leadership whether ex Ambassador Turki Al-Faisal comments about ending the special relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia in the event of a US veto on Palestinian State recognition was just hot air. In my opinion the US vehement opposition to recognition of a Palestinian State must be construed as the equivalent of a veto in that respect. The Palestinians have International Law and Justice on their side, the Quartet together with the US establishment are trying to render both inoperative, the Palestinians must not let them.

  • Remnick says Gingrich has been reading 1984 'propaganda tract' Wiesel, Peretz and Bellow fell for
  • Liberal pundits and Democrats are stifling conversation on failed peace process, AIPAC's power, and push for war on Iran
    • Just why Clinton was criticized and Ambassadors Gutman and Freeman pilloried is quite simple, let them get away with it, then anybody[can grow a spine]and get away with it. Just picture a crime boss shaking down shops and businesses, what does he do when one person refuses to pay,unless that person is taught a lesson[you have a nice place here would not like anything to happen to it, know what I mean guvnor]and one that is seen by everyone, the whole edifice could come crashing down, Congress got the message.

  • 'Huffpo' gives Ginsberg platform to push for illegal covert war against Iran
    • The Supreme court in their decision in Holder v Humanitarian Law project regarding the Kurdish workers party and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,when the plaintiffs sought to help these groups to peacefully resolve their conflicts, the court disagreed and held that expert advice or assistance,service and personnel were constitutional as applied to the forms of support that plaintiffs sought to provide to Foreign terrorist organisations. Jimmy Carter said that he could be prosecuted for the work he has done under this ruling. So there you have it Advocating peaceful resolution of conflicts is unlawful calling for the murder of citizens of Iran and openly advocating terrorism as Gingride and ginsberg do is legal.

    • How are people like Ginsberg and Gingridge allowed to get away with this blatant warmongering, here in the UK there are laws which prohibit "soliciting to kill anybody anywhere in the world,the US is not at war with Iran,these people would fall foul of this law if they said it in the UK.Several years ago three men were sent to jail for soliciting murder during a demonstration against an anti Islamic cartoon,the judge Brian Barker said that their words had been designed to encourage murder and terrorism. They had been filmed by the police shouting bomb bomb Denmark, bomb bomb USA, [BBC news channel 30 Oct 2007] Two were sent to jail for 6 years each ,one was sent to jail for 4 years for race hate.

  • GOP presidential candidates offer red meat on Israel (UPDATED)
    • GOP candidates would accuse Mondoweiss supporter’s of not living in the real world, and of being extremists. But could Mondoweiss be any more moderate, one could even say boringly mainstream, look at the groups of world opinion who Mondoweiss and other ‘extremists’ are complicit with:-

      1. UN resolutions voted on every year, US and Israel (approximately 5% of world population) on one side, the rest of the world on the other.
      2. Arab league – 22 states support for International Law based on 1967 borders with complete normalization with Israel if these borders are accepted, 0 against.
      3. The organization of Islamic states in agreement with Arab league on borders and normalization, 57 states to 0 against.
      4. The highest and most respected court in the world, the International court of justice on borders and settlements in International law, 15 judges to 0 (2004).
      The US and Israel are on the wrong side of history.

      Demographically:- Greater Israel or the land of Israel has too many Arabs in it unless of course they are given the vote along with equality and Israel becomes a state for all its citizens. That is not what Zionists have in mind.

      Technologically:- The surrounding states accumulation and expertise in weapons and systems will at some stage in the near future pose a huge threat, Israel will have to bomb them all into the stone age every 10 years or so, just to keep its edge.

      Ideologically: - The world will not put up with an apartheid state for long.

      In other words in my opinion, unless Israel and the GOP align themselves with the rest of mankind – Israel is doomed.

  • Accusing Obama of 'appeasement,' Romney says he'd travel to Israel on first trip as president
    • I have just kicked my computer screen in, what a slime, this guy would sell his own grandmother, these craven US pols, if they only had one neck.

  • Israel trades $100 million in frozen PA funds for nuke-ready submarine
    • I should have added Creveld's warning was in the event of Israels imminent demise.

    • I think that those submarines are for a second strike capability against European capital cities, here is what Martin Van Creveld said "we have hundreds of nuclear warheads and missiles which can reach, different targets in the heart of the European continent, including beyond the borders of Rome, the Italian capital". Creveld said, adding that most of the European capitals would become preferred targets for the Israeli airforce. As for the Palestinians, the historian said that Israel at the present time pursues a specific strategy based on mass deportation of the Palestinian people and has intentions to expel all Palestinians without exception, but is awaiting the right moment to take this step (interview broadcast by the 7th Hebrew radio station). Arn't they nice people

    • I hope those submarines have the capability to cross the Atlantic.

    • American, says "to my knowledge its the first time Germany has demanded any kind of concession from Israel in return for anything Israel wanted" I disagree this is not a concession it is returning money to the Palestinians which the Israelis had no legal right to keep back, it is not Israel's money, so the submarine deal shameful as it is should be kept separate, in other words it is pure blackmail.

    • If this news story is correct it would be akin to a police force offering to give some bank robbers a reduced price police car no questions asked, if the robbers gave the bank back its money. Shameful.

  • Kristol accuses Obama of wanting the Jewish state to disappear
    • This kind of language Kristol knows has worked in the past, causing Republicans to side with him,then Obama tries to outdo the Republicans in his fealty to Israel and on and on, why will it not work this time? Obama has shown he has no self respect or backbone,witness those AIPAC and UN performances, but it is significant that some big guns are speaking out now, in my opinion in an election year Kristol can get away with almost anything and he knows it.

  • Panetta's last words to Israel: 'Get to the damn table... Get to the damn table'
    • The problem is the Israeli's have already agreed to get round this famous table which the Quartet also talk about on numerous occasions, it is the Palestinians who have refused. The Israeli's want to talk without any preconditions, like a freeze of settlement activity or even any structure to the talks,in effect they would want those talks to buy more time and to accept the Palestinians terms of surrender, which of course has nothing to do with International Law or justice. The Palestinians rightly refuse but while insisting on International Law parameters gratuitously conceed almost 2% of the West Bank before any talks have begun a most strange negotiating tactic although not so strange after reading the Palestinian papers

  • About last night
    • It must be said that if the organisers of the flotilla are to be designated terrorist organisations by the secretary of state and I admit to giving to a collection for it through cyber space, even one penny, I could be found guilty of material support for terrorism, and because of the unequal extradition laws operating between the UK and USA I could be extradited without the US having to make a prima facia case. Did I contribute? I'm not saying, I will not make G W Bush' mistake of admitting to torture on tv, remind me how many years did he get for that?

    • Annie,

      If the Secretary of State in her report does deem any support group that participated in the Gaza flotilla a foreign terrorist organisation,then if I contributed any money to this nobel enterprise even 1 penny I could be found guilty of material support for terrorism and like that Holy Landfoundation participant sentenced to 65 years in jail or worse. We live in Orwellian times.

    • Just how America's ally in the middle east will deal with dissenting voices on the internet came today from the Knesset and this is a warning to all posters of comments critical of Israeli politicians,like Mondoweiss,you know who you are. A bill moving forward in the Knesset and supported by both the ruling coalition and opposition, imposes serious restrictions on the posting of comments in online forums,and allows MP's to sue any poster even anonymous ones in Israeli courts for any comment which they believe is designed to "damage" their positions ["Talkback Law Haaretz 01-12-2011]. Let me make my position clear I have never referred to Avignor Lieberman as a Fascist thug, guilty of proposing war crimes and crimes against humanity, I was referring to his opponents obviously. In my opinion the kindly, inoffensive and may I say misunderstood Herr Lieberman is the best thing to have happened to Israels legitimacy, hope he keeps it up, no don't laugh,can I visit Israel now.

  • Abbas and Mashaal: Commitment hailed a new era of 'partnership'
    • When is Israel going to renounce violence? a good question,when are they going to abide by past agreements? and when are they going to recognise a Paletinian state? Unity based on the application of International Law as a basis for a settlement is the only way forward. Norman Finkelstein never argues for a solution outside what is possible in the real world,that's why he says the World community has already agreed and for a long time on the basis of that solution, whats needed now is for that community to be mobilised

  • Bernard-Henri Levy insists settlements are not 'colonies' but minute 'implantations'
    • To bad the "implantations" are grave war crimes according to the Geneva conventions. The reasons why this particular crime is in a special category is it is a law to prevent colonisation which threatens the integrity of an entire people. The World court has already declared that these "implantations"are illegal and contrary to Internationl Law,by 15 Judges to zero. Wake up BHL.

  • Thousands rally in Tahrir Square as protests continue against military government
    • The Revolution will only be complete when sovereignty resides with the people and through their representatives have complete control over the military. With the military in control over any aspect of the government, you could say the United States has control, thats why Obama is so circumspect

  • Condi Rice was 'shocked' by 'ethnic purity' claims for Jewish state
    • This exchange between Livni and Rice is only the half of it, Livni wants to expel all of the Palestinians from Israel, she said at a press conference "The Palestinian State to be established will not be a solution just for the Palestinians who live in the West Bank, it is designed to provide a comprehensive national solution for those living in the West Bank, and the refugee camps, and even for the (Arab) citizens of Israel". (True Torah Jews against zionism).

  • Report: PA denies plans to abandon UN effort due to Israeli and American pressure
    • Ban Ki-Moon Blamed the Palestinians for causing the loss of 20% of funding for UNESCO I disagree, the Palestinians are only claiming their rights. The United States are responsible for that loss. Similarly the US would be responsible for bankrupting those other agencies should the Palestinians continue claiming their rights,let them do it and see where the blame is put. In any case membership of the ICC is the main prize and now they are eligable to join.

    • I do not trust the PA especially Erakat, if after so much hype they fail to even achieve enhanced observer status or apply for all the other of the specialised agencies, it would be entirely in keeping with its past record, CAPITULATION.

  • The case for invading Iran
    • Any war must have a cost/benefit analysis here is one benefit of the Iraq war, Saddam Hussein has gone, We must graciously concede and thank the Neo Conservatives for this. Here are some of the costs:
      1. Over 1 million Iraqi dead as a result of the conflict (opinion research business survey).
      2. Over 4 thousand US soldiers dead
      3. Financial costs - 3 trillion dollars as of 2008 which they now calculate was a gross underestimate (Joseph Stigiltz and Linda Bilmes).
      4. Iraq now aligned with Iran.
      A war with Iran would make this look like a walk in the park.

    • " All the war propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting". George Orwell.

  • Five Republican congressmen take Christian Zionist solidarity tour of settlements
    • The question which must be asked about both the settlers and the people who support them is this: Under the Geneva Conventions and the ICC statute, to directly or indirectly transfer part of the occupiers civilian population into occupied territory is a grave war crime, also aiding or abetting or assisting the same is also a crime, presumably by offering all those incentives, subsidised housing, reduced taxes ect, the entire Israeli leadership could be indicted for indirectly breaching these International Laws [and hopefully will be]. What of the Settlers and their supporters, they are by varying degrees aiding and abetting or assisting that very crime contrary to the ICC statute.The intent of the settlers and supporters is important here since "intent" in the normal sence of the word in criminal law has been replaced by some say the slightly harder proof of "for the purpose of" by a committee of the ICC. In this instance the Yesha council and its members have a hugh problem since it is their purpose to colonise occupied Palestinian Territory. The US is Party to the Geneva conventions but not to the ICC.

  • Wayback Machine: The UN debates Zionism
    • Watching this and the over the top condemnations of the resolution especially from US and UK, I am reminded of the shock horror response from our own Attorney General Lord Goldsmith to potential war crimes charges against Israeli politicians visiting the UK over the Gaza massacre,he said in effect that there was no real evidence,and that it would not stand up in court, this after all the evidence of war crimes and potential crimes against humanity had been published....incredible

  • Letter to the FM of Sweden from Gaza youth
    • The US administration said Palestine does not have the attributes of a state, also fearing Palestine’s admittance to the International Criminal Court and other specialized agencies, unfortunately for the indispensible nation this matter has already been decided by Palestine’s acceptance as a state into membership of UNESCO under the “all states” formula, and according to two leading International Human rights Lawyers Professor’s William A Schabas and Andrew Clapham nothing now stands in the way of Palestine acceding to the Rome statute except Palestine itself....He [the Prosecutor] should now move on to an assessment of the substance of the allegations that crimes under the statute have been committed in Palestine since 1 July 2002. Thanks to “Hostage” for finding this gem in an earlier comment from him, see http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com/2011/11/relevant-depositary-practice-of.html for more details on this.

  • Wexler on the warpath: Opening volleys of major push for Iran war by liberal Zionists and hawks?
    • Just who does Wexler and Condi "mushroom cloud" Rice think are going to take over in the event of Regime change in Iran, don't they Know the Iranian opposition irreligious or pious alike all support the country's nuclear energy drive, very few perhaps a few scholars fail to support it, it is seen as Nationalist imperitive and viewed as a source of pride. Or do these fools think the Iranian electorate should be changed. Are they acting stupid, or aren't they acting.

  • Will calls for military confrontation with Iran develop their own momentum?
  • Telegraph: Amid talk of war, Cameron's membership in Israel lobby 'club' creates conflict of interest
    • I attended Professor Finkelsteins meeting at Leeds University last night he was brilliant as usual. The auditorium was full to capacity with many having to be turned away,his speech was listened to without a single interuption throughout. I had a wonderful evening listening to a truly remarkable and courageous man, if the powers that be in Manchester university had been in attendance last night they would have learned what free speech is all about, they would also have been ashamed of their pusilanimity.

  • Neoconservative brinksmanship
    • The bottom line on regime change in Iran is this, If the opposition was to take over somehow, they [ the opposition] consider, just as a large majority of the Iranian people do that Irans nuclear programme is legitimate and should continue. A war on Iran therefore would unite all strands of the Iranian people in other words another unwinnable war, even worse the economies of the west could implode with the enevitable energy costs going through the roof.Surely our representatives are not mad.

  • Halper: Israel may attack Iran so that we won't hear the word 'Palestinian' for another 5 years
    • I cannot see an Israeli attack on Iran,war games have envisaged US strikes on multiple targets all over Iran for many weeks in order to blunt a fierce Iranian response. All Iran has to do is close the straights to tanker traffic for a few weeks for economic chaos in world markets, then the long war would begin,any sane person should think twice about taking on an enemy the size of Iran whose soldiers bring their shrouds to the battlefield.Remember the Zogby opinion poll throughout the middle east a few weeks ago which found a majority of those polled thought a nuclear armed Iran would be a good thing for the middle east, the dictators in Saudi Arabia and the gulf are afraid of course, for their own crowns.

  • Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin promotes a call for Palestinian genocide-- Blumenthal
    • Not only does the United States imply that all the settlements should stay [a grave war crime Fourth Geneva Convention article 49.6] but they can expand to take care of natural growth,what a despicable suggestion.

  • Ordinary citizens, making a difference
  • A Palestinian mayor explains how Israeli army starves his village of water
  • Do we really need another 'Gandhi'?
    • Norman Finkelstein's study of Gandhi reveals a man of many contradictions, for instance, he (Gandhi) says when confronted by a bully, if you are being humiliated, then you had better hit back and hit back hard.

      In Gandhi's philosophy there was no greater failing in a human being than being a coward. Two other examples from Finkelstein's website:

      Resolving the Israeli Palestine conflict - what we can learn from Gandhi.
      Although "not defending the Arab excesses" during the 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine, and although "wishing they had chosen the way of nonviolence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarranted encroachment upon their country". Gandhi nonetheless maintained that "according to the accepted cannons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds".

      And however much he deplored violence, Gandhi did deem it much preferable to inaction in the face of injustice. Should one be incapable of non violently resisting an outrage, the only honorable option would be to resist violently, whereas flight would be wholly shameful. For, if there was one thing Gandhi detested more than violence, it was "mute submissiveness" and what was yet worse, such submissiveness masquerading as non violent resistance. He regarded, not violence but pusillanimity and effeminateness as the most contemptable of personal failings etc.

  • Rambunctious reporters question US State Dept's double standard on Syrian/Palestinian aspirations
    • Maybe the US state Dept share this recent OECD report that Palestinians do not exist see here: http://www.jnews.org.uk/commentary/the-oecd-has-lost-4-million-palestinians

      or below:-
      The OECD has lost 4 million Palestinians
      By Shir Hever for JNews Blog
      Friday, 26 August, 2011 - 18:39
      London, UK

      Shir Hever
      In May 2010, Israel was accepted into the OECD, the organization of developed democracies, and an exclusive club for the world’s richest 34 countries. It did so following heavy pressure by the U.S, to overlook Israel’s occupation of both Palestinian and Syrian territory.

      Although OECD membership doesn't bring direct material benefites, Israeli governments went to great lengths to gain entry, because membership of the organisation lends an air of legitimacy to Israel.

      But the OECD had a serious problem with defining Israel, a country without defined borders, which occupies and illegally annexes large tracts of lands. European Union policy prevents EU members of the OECD from recognizing Israel in the occupation borders.

      The solution agreed upon was that Israel would produce statistical data that refers only to the population within its internationally-recognized green-line borders, within a year of its acceptance.

      Unsurprisingly, Israel never produced this document. But the OECD needed these statistics, otherwise the compromise agreement on which it had accepted Israel as a member in the first place, would have been revealed as a sham and the OECD would have lost face. So its own statisticians recently produced a report, Study on the Geographic Coverage of Israeli Data (PDF), which attempts to resolve the issue on Israel’s behalf.

      The report only uses data from Israeli sources (mainly the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, or ICBS). No attempt was made to challenge its validity or to compare it with data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and it seems that the OECD statisticians received very little, if any, cooperation from the ICBS.

      The writers of the report, keenly aware of the treacherous legal and political ground they were treading, included a disclaimer that the OECD uses Israeli data “without prejudice” to the status of the occupied territories, as if a scientific discussion in the statistics of Israel/Palestine could take place without making any political, legal or moral comment. The report explains that, regardless of the legal aspects of the occupation, they are merely referring to the “economic territory” of Israel, which includes the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the Israeli colonies in the West Bank, which are effectively part of the Israeli-controlled economy.

      Can this argument be acceptable? In truth, this report produces a better picture of Israeli economic realities by incorporating activity in territories beyond the green line. But it fails to include them all: four million Palestinians are missing from the account which ends up not simply as is a de facto acceptance of the occupation but of Israeli apartheid as well.

      While the report often refers to the occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” (a biblical reference used by the Israeli government to justify the occupation and emphatically not accepted by the United Nations, or any other international body), the word “Palestinian” does not appear even once in the 58-page report.

      In fact, the OECD decided to collect data about Israeli citizens and residents within Israel’s “economic territory”, and failed to notice approximately four million Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation. Those four million include 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank (where the OECD counts only Israeli citizens and residents in its stats), and 1.5 million in Gaza, which remains part of Israel’s economic sphere and under full Israeli economic control, but do not figure into the OECD calculations at all.

      How can one question that four million Palestinians who use Israeli currency, pay customs and various other taxes to the Israeli government, are subject to Israeli monopolies in water, energy and telecommunication (yes, I am talking also about Gaza, which Israel claims is “no longer occupied” but which pays customs and tariffs on imported goods and Value Added Tax (VAT) for Israeli products that are sold in Gaza.), are not part of Israel’s de-facto economic territory?

      And yet, it seems that the OECD countries are intent on eliminating the Palestinians from the data, as if the area of approximately 27,000 square kilometers (Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights) was populated by only 7.5 million people, and not by 11.5 million.

      Another example was the OECD’s tourism conference held in October 2010, which Israel won the right to host - in Jerusalem. On this basis, Israel’s minister of tourism announced that the OECD delegates, by attending, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Buses from one of Israel’s colonial companies (carrying names of illegal settlements) were used to transport the delegates.

      In fact, if Palestinians would be included in the data pertaining to Israel’s “economic territory”, as they should be, a very different face of Israel would be revealed.. Israel would probably be revealed as the most unequal economy in the world. From the refugee camps in Gaza where most people live under the international poverty line, to north Tel-Aviv (about two hours drive from there) with neighbourhoods housing millionaires and billionaires…

      Israel’s image as a developed economy and as a democratic country rests on its ability to separate Jews and Palestinians, citizens and subjects. This kind of separation is called apartheid.

      While it is obvious why the Israeli government would like the world to forget about the existence of the Palestinians altogether, one wonders why the OECD countries go to such great lengths to help Israel conceal them.

      JNEWS.

    • It would be nice to hear the indispensable nations hypocrite in chief Susan Rice as she storms out of the UN be subjected to mocking laughter and a few cries of "and don't come back" I hope that day is not long in coming.

  • The death throes of Greater Israel
    • The statement put out by the Quartet calling for negotiations without preconditions surely does not mean that grave war crimes committed by Israel every day [ ie,citizens of the occupier being transferred into occupied territory contrary to Art 49.6 fourth Geneva convention 1949 and ICC Rome statute 1998] are permitted.......does it? The Israelis are saying we want to negotiate without preconditions but we also want to continue committing war crimes against you every day, a truly preposterous position. The Israeli position rejects all International Law and UN resolutions on that subject, therein lies the problem. Unfortunately I am not sure the Quartet do not share the Israeli position also [Russia's position most strange] see also Anis Nacrour, Blair's former political advisor channel 4 Dispatches Wonderful world of Tony Blair, who says,the inception of the Quartet was a smokescreen for the actions of the US and Israel buying time for allowing the Israeli Government to do whatever they wanted to do ie facts on the ground.These are not particularly difficult matters of consequence to understand a five year old could grasp them,unfortunately Israel and the West have been feeding this pap to the PA for years and genuinely expect them to keep swallowing. A viable Palestinian state means the PA must resist this pressure, it will be severe, it is not for me to say they must be prepared to suffer, unfortunately it is the only way.If they do they can be assured that the majority of right thinking people all over the world will stand with them.

  • Vice PM Moshe Ya’alon: Regime change in Ramallah will ultimately be necessary for peace talks to progress
    • Many jurists have observed the breaching of art 49.6 of the Fourth Geneva convention with the settlement enterprise is a grave war crime. The reason this particular crime is in a special category is it is essenially a law to prevent colonisation which threatens the integrity of an entire people. Livni told the Palestinian Leadership to their faces "that the Israeli policy is to take more land day after day and that at the end of the day we'll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state" She conceeded that it had been the policy of the Government for a really long time. (Palestinian papers The Guardian] Because this fundamental breach of Customary International Law has occured every day since Oslo the Israelis must be perplexed this late in the day to find the Palestinian leadership insisting on the application of International Law and no talks until settlement activity ceases. The Israeli Leadership are criminals, the Palestinian Leadership are not far behind, can they atone?

  • PA says Tony Blair has lost all credibility (though he's better than Dennis Ross)
    • A must watch program Dispatches on Channel 4 (via 4OD) "The wonderful world of Tony Blair " has this......... Anis Nacrour, a senior French diplomat who worked for Tony Blair at the Quartet's Jerusalem office for three years as a Political & Security Advisor, says: "The inception of the idea of a quartet, I think it was how could I say a, a smoke screen for the action of the Americans and in tandem between Americans and Israelis. At the end of the day, all this was erm, buying time for allowing the Israeli government to do whatever they wanted to do."

      Enough said...

  • Israel to the international community: 'This is not a pipe'
    • If in an agreement (Oslo) when both sides are obliged not to do anything which breaches that agreement, then the first transgression i.e. one settler transferred into Occupied Palestinian Territory contrary to that agreement (and this is not nitpicking), that transfer is a grave war crime (Fourth Geneva Convention Article 49.6) which should have ended that agreement, unless an apology was made by the Israeli side with a promise that it would not happen again. The PA leadership have been complicit for the last 20 years in the annexation process, granted they were in a difficult position and could threaten no-one, but to have done nothing i.e. refused to negotiate when the settlement enterprise continued would have been more prudent.

      The United States and European Union on the other hand could have done something, but they have been even more complicit, uttering such vacuous phrases as "This is unhelpful" or "We are concerned" and then saying get back to negotiations, but then they are only following the line of least resistance. But we will all pay dearly in the end.

      How the Israeli's must have been laughing but worse encouraged to carry on building faster, twenty years and all those facts on the ground later, the Palestinian leadership are showing signs of resistance, no negotiations until settlements cease, with the threat of legal challenges to the ICC, if they are given non member observer status at the UN, well that's a start.

  • The UN application for the State of Palestine and the future of the PLO
    • Harry Law. The Settlers could be regarded as aiding and abetting ,war crimes,with the usual meaning of intent made slightly more difficult to prove with the inclusion of "for the purposes of" by a committee of the ICC, The Israeli leadership individually could be charged for purposfully ordering the commission of a war crime. Even heads of state have no immunity under the ICC statute.

    • Just heard Joe Lauria on Antiwar radio he states that a simple majority at the General Assembly would be sufficient for Palestinians to gain non member observer state and entry into various International Agencies etc, this is probably not sufficient since the US could insist on this being an “important question” which would require a two thirds majority in the General Assembly. See rule 83 below,
      Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include recommendations with respect to the maintenance of International peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, the election of the members of the Economic and Social Council, the election of members of the Trusteeship Council in accordance with paragraph 1c of Article 86 of the charter, the admission of new members to the United Nations, the suspension of the rights and privileges of membership, the expulsion of members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions.
      He also states this would automatically give sovereignty rights to Palestinians over territory like its air space and offshore waters etc this is also not correct since in Occupied Territory the True Sovereign is absent and all questions regarding what actually happens in that territory are for the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Defence force and the Head of the civil Administration to decide and must be decided according to the laws of occupation i.e. the 1907 Hague Regulations and the fourth Geneva convention 1949, they merely act as trustees and administrators until the true sovereign returns (a legally constituted government) any breaches of which occur can of course can be brought before the UN and as we have seen unfortunately subject to a US veto. The International Criminal Court is not subject to such a veto and could rule as the World Court did on its advisory opinion on the Israeli wall case, that the settlements are illegal and that they constitute ongoing war crimes [ 15 judges to zero] ICJ 2004. This is why the United States and Israel are panicking.

  • Billboards criticizing US aid to Israel taken down under pressure
    • Has any pro Palestinian group thought of this method of advertisement,driving around New York or Washington.Hope I don't go on Obama's death panel list for suggesting this.

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