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Hostage

Retired

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  • My personal journey of transformation
    • P.S. Recently Jeb Bush wrote:

      The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression.

      -- link to nationalreview.com

      The Obama administration was reacting to Netanyahu's election campaign stop in "Har Homa" which was built on West Bank land that was illegally annexed to the Jerusalem municipality by Israel long after the 1967 Six-Day War. It's important to remember that, after Israel annexed East Jerusalem, it was Nixon’s Ambassador to the UN, Charles Yost who advised the other members of the Security Council that our government nonetheless considers East Jerusalem occupied territory:

      97. . . . The expropriation or confiscation of land, the construction of housing on such land, the demolition or confiscation of buildings, including those having historic or religious significance, and the application of Israeli law to occupied portions of the city are detrimental to our common interests in the city. The United States considers that the part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the June 1967 war, like other areas occupied by Israel, is occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power. Among the provisions of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in laws or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behaviour authorized under the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced, and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered.
      98. My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity, and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since June 1967. We have consistently refused to recognize those measures as having anything but a provisional character and do not accept them as affecting the ultimate status of Jerusalem.

      link to un.org

      For over 50 years the international community of states worked on a definition of the crime of aggression. During that time, both Republican and Democratic administrations ratified the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Montevideo Convention, The Organization of American States Charter, The Geneva Conventions, and the United Nations Charter. Each of those conventions prohibit the acquisition of territory by war or through annexation by an occupying power:

      The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof,

      -- Definition of Aggression, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) and "Article 8 bis Crime of aggression," in the amended Rome Statute.

    • Wonder what Ms Thier thinks of the Goldhagen thesis re his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”? Would she think it relevant to her own experience, the average German’s experience growing up in Germany back in the day?

      I would thinks so, since her use of the term Judaize has an exact historical parallel to the Nazi program of "Germanization" - which was one of the major war crimes tried by the post-WWII Tribunal. She said:

      There is a tremendous effort to Judaize east Jerusalem and house demolitions is one of them. Demolishing Palestinian houses that had been built without permit, is the pretext, as permits are not given… We met Palestinians and listened to their frustrating, sad stories. Their status as residents can be revoked easily, which indeed has been done. Since Oslo accords 140,000 Palestinians lost their residency, because they dared to go abroad, they lost their right to return home.

      Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention covered all of the crimes involved in population transfers. The process of acquiring a territory by evicting its population, either through military attacks or occupation, and implementing a policy of apartheid or genocide are the primary examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity listed in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

      Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. "(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES" charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      -- See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to loc.gov or see the Indictment, Count 3 "War Crimes" at the Avalon Project link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      "In their verdict, the four Allied judges found that the main aim of the Nazis, i.e., the conquest of living space, had been amply proven by the prosecution. Therefore, they viewed the atrocities committed during the war as consequences rather than ends— but did not refer to these policies as a program of genocide:

      The evidence shows that at any rate in the East, the mass murders and cruelties were not committed solely for the purpose of stamping out opposition or resistance to the German occupying forces. In Poland and the Soviet Union these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans.

      -- See Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals: Transitional Justice, Trial Narratives, and Historiography page 109-110 link to books.google.com

  • Stanford Hillel defied Hillel guidelines by hosting Gottlieb -- 'and no one burst into flames'
    • This is a complicated issue. Why people crave approval of their communities

      No the important question is: How did the Jewish Community get so fucked-up that it forgot the original facts about Hillel? The Talmud says that the House of Hillel and its students were famous for three things:

      1. They had to be put to the sword, before their adversaries in the Palestine Sanhedrin could obtain a majority in favor of adopting legislation to sever all communications or commerce with their Gentile neighbors. (You don't have to guess about that Hillel House's position on the construction of the Wall);

      2. That they taught the heathens of Palestine that there is just one Golden rule that comprises the whole meaning of the Torah and that that one law was applicable to the native-born Jews and Gentiles and any strangers living in Palestine;

      3. That a Divine Voice from Heaven said that the law follows the House of Hillel, because they always were polite, courteous, and made sure that their adversaries views were presented first, before presenting their own.

      Hillel doesn't stand for any of those things today.

    • Only it hits me as the exact equivalent of White people insisting to hear about the Civil Rights movement from Whites exclusively, Negroes needn’t apply. That was their right too, wasn’t it?

      No, it really isn't equivalent. It's more like a despotic oriental fiefdom or a mandarin ruling class sitting on a mountain of cash solicited from the general public under false pretenses. Fingerhut is the head of a national Jewish fraternal organization that is also a tax exempt public charity. It doesn't actually own or fund these independent local Hillels.

      Hillel International claims in its solicitations for donations, legacies, and endowments that it provides campus services for the benefit of all members of the Jewish religion. The USPTO Hillel trademark registration says the same thing - and that the service association promotes Jewish cultural education and discussion of human rights. But Fingerhut has forbidden local Hillels, as such, from sponsoring, partnering, or providing facilities for pro-BDS groups, like Jewish Voice For Peace or Students For Justice in Palestine. So even if your chapter bought and paid for its own facility, he's threatening to sue you if it is used for one of its stated purposes.

    • I can’t quite get what she means by that by “criminalization”.

      The Lanham Act makes willful trademark violation or unfair competition a federal crime. Likewise the Sherman Antitrust Act makes planning and organizing a boycott a federal crime. The courts have carved-out narrow exceptions for 1st and 14th amendment political and religious activities that Congress isn't allowed to regulate under the "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution, but Fingerhut led the charge in Congress to outlaw the BDS movement anyway. He and his ilk employ the hasbara argument that Israel is a vibrant democracy. They falsely claim that the Palestinian civil society's BDS movement isn't a human rights boycott similar to the landmark NAACP v. Patterson (No. 91) 357 U.S. 449 - 1958 and NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 US 886 - 1982 cases.

  • Netanyahu to stage hunger strike against world peace
  • The Jewish establishment has banned these four valiant Jews. Why?
    • Anyone who is not turned off by phil’s use of gangster in this context is already converted to the cause.

      What's fair for the goose is fair for the gander. I just responded to a comment by JeffB, who claimed that Hillel chapters which support the Open Hillel campaign are somehow guilty of trademark infringement and fraud. link to mondoweiss.net

      The article above mentions a letter from Fingerhut's lawyer which also suggests that the Swarthmore Hillel was violating the law. Do you object to that language?

      I explained the fact that the Hillel brand was established by a Reform Rabbi in 1923, when the anti-Zionist Pittsburgh Platform was in effect and that in 1948 Hillel International specifically invited the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism to setup chapters on campus under the Hillel umbrella. The Word mark registration for the term "Hillel" at the USPTO specifically stipulates that one of the services or activities offered by the association is the promotion of discussions about human rights. If the directors at Hillel International suddenly want to exclude anti-Zionist Jews and say that the brand name prohibits the very thing it was registered to promote, then it's their fiduciary responsibility to establish a new service mark for that, and to avoid bringing the existing mark and name into disrepute and destroying the goodwill it enjoys based upon its history of plurality.

      Otherwise, Hillel International is probably guilty of pulling the wool over the eyes of a lot of us and engaging in misapplication of the property rights others have assigned and entrusted to their care - plus fraudulent solicitation of charitable donations from members of the Jewish religion or community that it happens to disagree with.

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
    • . i recall learning from you about that showdown between hillel and the Shammaites before. “to permit every one to enter, but no one to leave.” ... it’s a crazy decision to make, the separation between jews and gentiles.

      I hope that you've also learned from me that the United Nations conditioned the establishment of Jewish and Arab states on complete legal equality for everyone and that there never was any intention of severing either communications or commerce between the Jews and Gentiles. I've commented almost endlessly here about the fact that the minority protection plan, and the plan for economic union and right of transit, were integral, indivisible parts of the "Plan for the Future Government of Palestine" a.k.a. UN resolution 181(II).

      I've also discussed "The Three Oaths" here in the past. Some Orthodox Jews claim that the criteria have already been fulfilled, while others contend that it's still just a prophecy of future events. This is the first time I've explicitly pointed out the connection between the Oaths and the criteria regarding legal equality for all in both the Torah and the stipulations contained in resolution 181(II). To say that Zionists have rebelled against the Nations in that regard would be a guarded understatement.

      it does seem strange to use the name hillel and then not ascribe to his beliefs.

      I agree, but the primary problem is the use of an utterly false name association with the beliefs of an authoritative Jewish religious institution, the House or School of Hillel, in order to deliberately disparage, bring into disrepute, and even prohibit the adoption of its core beliefs - all "in the name of Hillel" - and under the auspices of "the commerce clause" of the US Constitution. It's supremely ironic to me, that Jewish religious tradition teaches everyone that the real students of Hillel were so strongly opposed to the adoption of man-made ordinances forbidding any commerce or communications between Jews and their Palestinian neighbors that the measure could only be adopted after they had been put to death with the sword.

      I pointed out in an earlier comment that the trademark statute, itself, attempts to prevent situations, just like this one, from ever coming up in the first place. Any trademark can generally be registered, unless it consists of matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute. link to law.cornell.edu

      Everything I've outlined above can be easily confirmed by simply reading the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entries for "Gentiles", "Hillel", "Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai", and "Academies in Palestine", taken together with passages from Rodkinson's 1918 translation of the Babylonian Talmud or the Soncino versions. The documentary evidence establishes, beyond any doubt, that prior to either its registration by USPTO or its first use "in commerce", "Hillel" was in common English usage. It was: (a) the name of a famous deceased person; (b) a name that already had a secondary generic meaning. It was used with the definite article ("The House of Hillel", "The School of Hillel", "The Academy of Hillel") to identify "a college", "a sort of university or academy", or a specific, authoritative (halakhical) Jewish religious institution with a very well-defined set of beliefs and practices. There were already institutions on university campuses here and abroad, like the Hillel Book Club at Texas A&M. For example, the "Hillel House" of the Perse School in Cambridge, England was established in 1904. It was originally a Jewish day school for the children of Cambridge dons. It evolved into a co-educational boarding school, a student athletic society, and a religious center/home away from home for Jewish students of all ages. Its members are known as "Hillelians". They in-turn have been active in founding other university organizations there that promote Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interfaith relations and study offerings under the Cambridge University system umbrella and imprimatur, i.e. The Woolf Institute, The Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations, The Centre for the Study of Muslim Jewish Relations, and The Centre for Policy and Public Education. I wonder if JeffB is worried about consumer confusion in those cases?

      All the available evidence suggests that the original Hillel Foundations deliberately chose the name Hillel for the same reasons as everyone else - precisely because it symbolized those beliefs and practices that I've described above. That was certainly the case when the trademark was first used in commerce in 1923; when it was first published for public objections by USPTO; and during the five year waiting period before the papers were filed requesting that the mark be granted uncontestable status.

    • I’ve been struck nearly speechless through 2 readings of your post, Hostage

      I apologize for the length of the post. But I wanted to make sure that everyone here thoroughly understood the fact that Hillel International's 2010 Policy Guidelines on the State of Israel are an absolute perversion of every vital principle of the Torah and the Halakhah that the real House of Hillel stands for in mainstream, historical Judaism and traditional Jewish culture.

    • I have to tell you I’m starting to lose track on what points of law we are disagreeing about vs. what points of fact we are disagreeing about vs. what points of likely outcome we are disagreeing about.

      Starting this here to avoid narrowed-down block quotes. We are disagreeing on: (a) the meaning of just about every important point of Jewish religion, history, and culture; and (b) the extent to which contracts, common law, or federal and state laws can be used to regulate individuals or their religious or political associations.

      I've discussed the details of all those individual subjects here in the past, including the disastrous results of the dispute between the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel over relations with the Gentile inhabitants of the Land of Israel and denial of their basic humanity. I've never tried to condense all of those thousands of comments into one reply before. But I really do think that there is a unified "Jewish Theory of Everything" which explains all of the hatred and attempts at censorship within the Jewish community that invariably get triggered by the Zionists among us, whenever anyone else talks about "The Three Oaths", "the State of Israel's right to exist", or the State of Israel's formal adoption of a dual system of laws and regulations that deny the most basic human rights to the non-Jewish inhabitants of the country and any occupied territories unlucky enough to come under its jurisdiction. If readers will stick with me, I'll try to tie-up some of the loose ends.

      Our Gentile friends can be excused for their ignorance about the sage Hillel. But I'm really amazed that the task of having to explain exactly why Hillel International's position is so ridiculous and outlandish on religious grounds, has fallen through the cracks into the hands of a secular Jew, like myself. There have been scores of articles, both here and in the Jewish press, about this heated debate inside the local Hillel chapters and none of them have explained it either. Maybe some of those authors will read this and spread the word.

      I'll have to address the religious and cultural aspects here and the legal aspects in separate comments, just to keep this post down to a manageable size.

      It's only fitting for Hillel chapters to object about the attempt by Hillel International to impose a policy, "in the name of Hillel", of silencing or disaffiliating groups of religious Jews who insist on politely hearing and discussing opposing points of view regarding violations of the law and fundamental human rights. Like the Christian Professor who helped establish the first campus Hillel chapter, I'm shocked that so many Jews aren't more familiar with their own biblical literature and traditions on the subject. The "law" and "the way to go" (a.k.a. the Torah and the Halakhah) are supposed to govern nearly every aspect of Jewish life - even on campus. The Talmud tells us that the law followed the House of Hillel when it came to these differences over basic human rights and listening to, or debating, opposing points of view:

      Rabbi Abba said in the name of Samuel: For three years the Schools of Hillel and Shammai were in conflict, each saying, “the law is according to our view.” A heavenly voice announced: “Both are the words of the living God – but the law is according to the School of Hillel.” But if both are the words of the living God, why did the School of Hillel “win?” Because they were calm and humble and always taught both their own view and that of the school of Shammai. Moreover, they would always state the view of the School of Shammai before their own.

      – Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin, 13b link to halakhah.com (.pdf file)

      So, the Talmud encourages all of the Jewish faithful to be disciples or students of the teachings of the "House" or "School" of Hillel and to follow their example, rather than the example of the House of Shammai in the case of these particular debates over Jewish relations with others.

      The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Gentiles" explains that some Jewish sages held that the Torah itself was Israel's exclusive, Divine inheritance. They felt that anyone who revealed it to a Gentile was worthy of death. The story about Hillel and the Golden Rule implicitly deals with that subject and what the law said about relations with the Gentiles

      On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, 'Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.' Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder's cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, 'What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.'

      Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbath, Folio 31a link to halakhah.com (.html file)

      Many Jews today think that the Torah deals only with the subject of Israel's relationship to God. But this story about Hillel says that the Torah, and all of the 613 commandments, can be boiled-down to just one simple rule that governs a person's neighborly relations with everyone else (including God).

      Xenophobia, paranoia, and dislike of Gentiles is likened to idolatry in the Jewish religious literature on these debates. The scriptures indicate that there were always unassimilated, native-born Gentiles living in the Land of Israel. They included the remaining Canaanites that King Solomon conscripted to build the first Temple. They also included the Rechabites, righteous Bedouin descendants of Jethro. the priest of Midian, who lived on the southern border of Judah and in their own communities by the Sea of Galilee in the Northern Kingdom. Various other groups of native born or visiting Gentiles are mentioned in the books of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Scriptures.

      According to the Torah, there is only supposed to be one law for these native-born Jews and Gentiles and for any strangers who happen to be sojourning in the land. Some claim that the term "strangers" only applies to proselytes or converts to Judaism, but that interpretation is simply untenable. The same scriptures remind us to love the strangers, because our own Patriarchs were once strangers in Egypt. The only ritual formula that the Torah requires each Jew to recite is the one which reminds us that our Patriarch and his family went down to Egypt and became a great and mighty nation there. The scriptural story of their sojourn in Egypt does not say that they were proselytes or converted to another national religion.

      According to the Talmudic legends in Yoma and Gittin, empty acts of piety, charity, and hatred without a cause had become endemic in the Jewish religious community. Those conditions eventually led to the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the exile, e.g. Yoma 9b says:

      But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together.

      link to halakhah.com (.pdf file)
      Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim sec. 580 lists dates on the Jewish Calendar on which tragic events occurred. It’s traditional for a religious person to fast on those days. The last date on the list is the 9th of Adar, when the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel over "the 18 ordinances" took place. The disciples of Shammai, subsequently managed to murder enough of the followers of Hillel to secure a majority of votes in the Sanhedrin in favor of implementing the ordinances:

      “The disciples of the school of Shammai stood below, slaughtering the disciples of the school of Hillel. Six of them ascended, while the rest threatened them with swords and spears.”

      -- See the extract from the Jerusalem Talmud at link to biu.ac.il

      Our sages tell us that

      “Five misfortunes befell our forefathers on the 17th of Tammuz,” … …”The second is also from the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 13b and 17a”: A count was conducted, and it was found that the sages of Shammai were more numerous than the sages of Hillel. Eighteen ordinances were enacted on that day… and that day was as difficult for the people of Israel as the day on which the Golden Calf was made.

      -- See link to chabad.org and link to halakhah.com

      Then as now, some bigoted Jews created a controversy that almost destroyed the Jewish people by insisting that they accept a legal system which viewed Gentiles as enemies. The new ordinances made it illegal to have anything at all to do with native born or foreign Gentiles. Then as now, the Zionist zealots insisted that Jews cannot live normal lives and co-exist in peace with Gentiles. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes that it eventually became impossible for the two differing Houses to even form a minyan and worship together in public under the same roof:

      Bitter feelings were consequently engendered between the schools; and it appears that even in public worship they would no longer unite under one roof (Jost, "Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten," i. 261; Tosef., R. H., end). These feelings grew apace, until toward the last days of Jerusalem's struggle they broke out with great fury.

      As all the nations around Judea made common cause with the Romans, the Zealots were naturally inflamed against every one of them; and therefore the Shammaites proposed to prevent all communication between Jew and Gentile, by prohibiting the Jews from buying any article of food or drink from their heathen neighbors. The Hillelites, still moderate in their religious and political views, would not agree to such sharply defined exclusiveness; but when the Sanhedrin was called together to consider the propriety of such measures, the Shammaites, with the aid of the Zealots, gained the day. Eleazar ben Ananias invited the disciples of both schools to meet at his house. Armed men were stationed at the door, and instructed to permit every one to enter, but no one to leave. During the discussions that were carried on under these circumstances, many Hillelites are said to have been killed; and there and then the remainder adopted the restrictive propositions of the Shammaites, known in the Talmud as “The Eighteen Articles.” On account of the violence which attended those enactments, and because of the radicalism of the enactments themselves, the day on which the Shammaites thus triumphed over the Hillelites was thereafter regarded as a day of misfortune (Tosef., Shab. i. 16 et seq.; Shab. 13a, 17a; Yer. Shab. i. 3c).

      link to jewishencyclopedia.comThe Jewish Encyclopedia also explains that before his death Hillel is said to have prophetically designated Johanan Ben Zakkai, his youngest pupil, as “the father of wisdom” and “the father of coming generations” (Yer. Ned. v., end, 39b). Zakkai, was the primary source of the core text of Rabbinical Judaism, the Mishnah. According to the theory formulated in the Mishnah (Ab. ii. 8), that traditions were handed down through an unbroken chain of scholars, Johanan, in receiving the teachings of Hillel, formed the last link in that chain.
      Johanan argued in favor of peace with the Roman’s during the Jewish Revolt. He was trapped in Jerusalem during Vespasian’s siege against the city. (Giṭ. 56b; Lam. R. i. 5; Ab. R. N. iv.). When the strife between the Zealots and the other parties in the besieged city became unbearable he had his students carry him to the Roman camp in a coffin to negotiate with Vespasian. He even obtained permission to teach and practice his religion on a portion of the Roman Emperor's personal Estate in Yavneh (aka Yabneh/Jamnia). He established an academy and an authoritative rabbinic college there and turned it into the new center of Jewish religious life after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. link to jewishencyclopedia.comFor almost two millennia, religious Jews were taught that their return to the Land of Israel would be governed by the conditions of "The Three Oaths":

      'What was the purpose of those three adjurations? — One, that Israel shall not go up [all together as if surrounded] by a wall; the second, that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured Israel that they shall not rebel against the nations of the world; and the third is that whereby the Holy One, blessed be He, adjured the idolaters that they shall not oppress Israel too much'.

      Kethuboth 111a link to halakhah.com

      FYI, the Gentile "nations" have never been completely synonymous with the idolators or persecutors of the Jewish people. The friendly nations didn't overly burden the Zionists about their return to Palestine. Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate simply imposed "suitable conditions" to allow gradual, rather than mass Jewish immigration, in the interest of preserving the rights and position of the existing Gentile communities. link to avalon.law.yale.edu In response, the Zionists rebelled and formed underground terror units which ignored the imposition of official immigration quotas. Next the United Nations agreed to the establishment of a Jewish state. But only on condition that a declaration regarding equality of rights would be supplied to the United Nations by the new Provisional Government and that it would swear the stipulations contained in it were:

      "recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them: "No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex.

      All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws."

      The Nations said those rights:

      "shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.

      Any dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this declaration shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree to another mode of settlement.

      UN Resolution 181(II) link to yale.edu

      I've commented dozens of times here about the fact that the Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, and the Government of Israel had claimed at the time that they had accepted that resolution and swore during the subsequent hearings on UN membership that they had provided for all of those stipulations in Israel's Declaration of Independence. Their representatives claimed that they had published the declaration as the law the land in their new official State Gazette. But in actual practice they haven't lived up to either their UN or Torah obligations to love the stranger and to adopt one law for the native born Jews and Gentiles - even after the General Assembly belatedly took them to the World Court in 2003. The Zionists and the State of Israel continue to rebel against the nations over the findings in that case. Now history is just repeating itself. Instead of having one or two states, with justice and liberty for all, the disciples of the House of Shammai have "doubled down" and continue to build walls of separation, even among the Jews. Then as now, they have become ill-tempered and refuse to even allow us to meet together under one roof in the name of Hillel to discuss the mess they've made of things and to give opposing views a fair hearing. They blame anyone who even remotely resembles a modern disciple of Hillel for violating their heretical policy guidelines.

    • My condolences, Hostage.

      Well thank you, and everyone else here. The deceased was a lifelong best friend of mine and one of my brother-in-law's siblings. He passed away after a long illness. He was probably considered the favorite uncle among my sister's children and grandchildren. They all came in from out-of-town to attend the funeral. She and I were both busy hosting everyone and putting-up all of those who stayed-over to visit.

    • @JeffB There was a death in the family yesterday and I haven't had time to respond. I promise I'll post a reply to this shortly when things settle down.

    • As for Open Hillel not wanting to conduct business. If they don’t conduct business they can’t violate a trademark and the rest doesn’t matter.

      I'd have agreed with you, if you had stopped right there. The government hasn't given B'nai Brith a monopoly on campus political activities and services under any name, for the simple reason that those activities fall completely outside of the scope of the categories and types of services listed on the registrations of the limited monopoly rights that have been published for objection by USPTO. You are comparing apples to oranges again. The Swarthmore Hillel could have adopted a resolution proclaiming itself a Rainbow LGBT Hillel, and Open Hillel or any other number of things without violating any trademark statutes or student association bylaws, or altering a word in its papers of incorporation.

    • There were “Menorah Clubs” which were early Hillels though obviously under a different name including the one you mentioned, in 1916 they were the “The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (TAMC) Menorah Club” not a Hillel till 1923

      No, I just quoted an extract from the Texas A&M "About Us" page and provided you with a link which explains that their Menorah Club changed its name to the "Hillel Club" in 1920. It did not immediately go into business, partnership, or affiliation with the "Hillel" that was subsequently established in 1923, neither did B'nai B'rith for that matter. Your willful ignorance of the historical, chronological details is duly noted.

      It really doesn't matter whether B'nai Brith subsequently acquired rights to its brand through mergers or otherwise, there should still be some documentation about that merger or acquisition of mark ownership on file with the trademark application. That's particularly true if it is going to claim "exclusive rights" to it - and if Hillel International (itself) still needed a license after the merger. In any event, the first use of the term on the registrations is incorrect. It wasn't an entity doing business as B'nai B'rith or even Rabbi Frankel's Hillel in Illinois. In the example above, the Texas A&M group wouldn't necessarily have lost its existing rights established in 1920 under state or common law usage, simply by becoming a member or affiliate of another association with a similar Hillel trade name in its registered design mark. Nothing would prevent it from reviving or continuing to use the words "Hillel Club" once B'nai Brith let the 1966 trademark for its old logo expire in 1989. The new logos are not registered, but would be covered by copyright protections and licensing anyway as works of art . My point is that: if the Texas A&M Hillel declared itself to be an Open Hillel, and Fingerhut decided to sue, they might very well prevail in Court and have his trademark on the word declared invalid or severely reduced in its scope of applicability through the incorporation of disclaimer statements. As I noted earlier there is no mention of college campuses in the 1992 registration that would exclude its application against hundreds of thousands of other entities that provide similar services in "Hillel" schools, academies, yeshivas, & etc. It's pretty obvious that Fingerhut is not complaining about those entities unlicensed use of his word mark.

      The rest of your post is drivel. The Open Hillel website explains that it is "a student-run campaign to encourage inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels". It's not a business partnership or a merger to provide goods or services. That's fair use of the term for the purposes of public discussion and debate. link to openhillel.org They advocate that Fingerhut's existing affiliate Hillel partners do exactly what the trademark registration says that they do in connection with the promotion of discussions about human rights. Fingerhut doesn't have any grounds to go after them when one of his affiliates adopts an Open Hillel resolution and declares itself to be an Open Hillel. He has to take that matter up with the Hillel concerned. It appears that in the Swathmore case, Fingerhut no longer has any presence on campus.

      Fingerhut seems to think that "members of the Jewish religion" doesn't include anti-Zionists and that he can conduct a campus harassment campaign against them using his trademark claims. He needs to be careful about that if he wants to avoid a Title VI complaint on that account. Even Ken Marcus had to admit in his William and Mary journal article that anti-Zionism cannot be construed as anti-Semitism, when it is based upon a student's religious beliefs. Anti-Zionist Jews can certainly file formal complaints about other groups that have the school's permission to offer public accommodations on campus, but refuse to provide them service on the grounds of either their particular Jewish creed or ethnicity. School administrators have the same responsibility to them as they have to other Jews when it comes to preventing a threatening campus environment.

    • Re: I’ll assume you aren’t Jewish. Among American Jewish students Hillel is very well known.

      That's one of the reasons the trademark should have been denied. The law generally allows any trademark subject matter to be registered unless it falsely suggests a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or brings them into contempt, or disrepute. See 15 U.S. Code § 1052 - Trademarks registrable on principal register; concurrent registration link to law.cornell.edu

      I've given you a link to an Encyclopedia article which explained that Hillel (a dead person's name) was deliberately chosen because he was a national and religious "symbol" who was considered a champion of social justice and plurality. Now the Zionists have misappropriated his good name and adapted it, like everything else, for the exclusive use of their abominable Jewish state and brought it into disrepute, by making it synonymous with intolerance and denial of human rights.

      That a vendor isn’t well known for people who aren’t potential customers doesn’t mean much. The public is the public of customers. If “Open Hillel” were selling flowers to Mormons they would have a better claim but they are going after the same customer base using B’nai Brith’s property.

      The only live registered trademark currently held by B'nai B'rith says the customers are members of the Jewish religion. By itself, it's pretty useless, unless you are keeping others from designing, engineering, or developing something, in international class 42, like computer hardware or software used to promote human rights. The specimens of its use in commerce were computer screen shots of a web site. How any reasonable person could confuse that with the power to prohibit affiliates in good standing from meeting in their own Hillel building on campus to hold an in-person discussion about human rights beats the hell out of me.

    • Re: The guys at Swathmore having an Open Hillel are pretending to be Hillel brand college clubs when they aren’t.

      No Open Hillel is a student protest movement that doesn't provide any goods and services. The only trademark involved is B'nai B'rith's. FYI, the Courts have held that trademarks, like all intellectual property rights, are subject to fair use by others for the purpose of parodies, criticism, protests, & etc.

      Re:The moment any money changes hands that’s trademark infringement and quite possibly fraud.

      The New York Times quoted a B'nai B'rith spokesman who admitted that each of its 550 affiliated campus Hillels are independently funded. FYI, the first Hillel was established and branded by an independent group who hired a Reform Rabbi back in the days when the anti-Zionist Pittsburgh Platform was still in effect. At the time that "Hillel" entity asked the Hebrew Union and the B'nai B'rith to become its national sponsors, neither of those organizations had publicly endorsed Zionism. Collective trademarks were prohibited by law at that time. So it's pertinent to ask if, and exactly how, B'nai B'rith acquired the rights owned by the Illinois entity which was established by the Rabbi and some area businessmen?

      A recent editorial noted the fact that anti-Zionist organizations were still being invited to form their own local campus chapters under the Hillel umbrella after the State of Israel was established:

      In 1948, upon the establishment of the State of Israel, Hillel directors across the country sought guidance from the national office asking if the then-anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism should be allowed to form chapters within the Hillel umbrella. The answer from Hillel International was clear: “Hillel represents the total Jewish community on each campus which it serves, it excludes no student activity which legitimately represents the interests of a group of students, so long as they accept the principle of community responsibility. Just as there are Orthodox, Conservative and Reform outlooks represented in the Hillel program, so there can be both Zionist and anti-Zionist outlooks.”

      link to michigandaily.com

      The 1992 Hillel trademark registration specifically stipulated that promoting discussions of human rights would be one of the services offered to members of the Jewish religion under the exclusive Hillel brand. To sum-up: for decades persons who harbored anti-Zionist views have relied upon what appear to be fraudulent assurances when they were asked to provide charitable contributions of money, property, or real estate; made posthumous endowments; or donated their personal time and effort to build-up the Hillel organization.

      While the 1946 trademark statute permitted collective service marks used to denote accredited membership in an association, B'nai B'rith didn't register one until 1966. That one was granted for a now-defuct logo and was subject to a disclaimer on any rights to generic depictions of the Torah. It was abandoned in 1989. So for more than half a century there is a documented history of unregistered use by the individual chapters who acquired their own funding and rights to the brand through its use under common law or state law. There are no consent agreement documents or assignments of ownership at all contained in the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR) which might indicate that one or more of them had ever signed over their legal rights in the brand to B'nai B'rith.

    • Re: Certainly Kehilah can say they and not the organization called Hillel are the authentic or more accurate, more righteous followers of Rabbi Hillel. So absolutely they can claim all they want to be students of Hillel or forming a school to study Hillel’s teachings. That’s a religious assertion and not subject to trademark.

      Once again, I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of entities "doing business as" d/b/a Hillel academies, schools, and etc. Many of them pre-date the first B'nai B'rith application for a federal service mark registration in 1966. FYI, prior unregistered use in the USA by others is grounds for denial of registration or invalidation of an existing mark by the Courts.

      Re: B’nai Brith on the other hand owns the trademark for foundation for campus jewish life (college clubs) under the name Hillel.

      The Encyclopaedia Judaica explains that the first Hillel at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was a classic example of a campus ministry. B'nai B'rith only own an exclusive service mark on the category of "association services" listed on any "live" USPTO registration that has been published for public notice and objection. They may still have state or common law rights on "expired" or "abandoned" marks that remain in continuous use, but they are not necessarily entitled to the normal legal presumptions in federal court that are granted to an owner who pursues renewals, pays the necessary fees, and maintains a "live" trademark with USPTO.

      The current registration for the "Word Mark: Hillel" ... "Type of Mark: Service Mark" does not mention campuses or foundations. It could be used to prohibit others from using the name in their own religious ministries, since it stipulates that the beneficiaries or customers of the Hillel service are members of the Jewish religion:

      IC 042. US 100. G & S: association services; namely, promoting the interests of members of the Jewish religion through religious, career and vocational counseling programs, sporting events and social programs, and by providing information on issues concerning human rights and inter-faith relations. FIRST USE: 19230000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19230000

      One of the most obvious problems with these registrations was the examiners jaw-dropping failure to demand a disclaimer statement. Any mark, copyright, or patent is a government-franchised monopoly. The establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits the Congress from granting any kind of monopoly to one of many competing Jewish religious ministries regardless of whether or not their services happens to be offered on state property.

      FYI, the goods and services description is considered more dispositive than the category shown above, i.e. Nice Agreement international class 42 ("Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software". The two specimens provided to illustrate the use of the word mark in commerce were captured computer screen images from the Hillel internet site. It would still be perfectly okay for another entity to file an application using the word Hillel in Class 41 ("Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities") if their description of goods and services were sufficiently different or distinct from those in the B'nai B'rith Class 42 registration.

    • There is no evidence that prior to B’nai Brith there were Jewish college clubs operating under the name “Hillel” nor that people generally don’t associate Hillel with the Hillel organization.

      That's nonsense. Rabbi Hillel the Elder has always been part and parcel of Jewish learning and education. If you simply Google "Hillel School" you'll get over 2 million hits for entities in all levels of Jewish education doing business as yeshivas, Hebrew schools, academies, day schools, and other entities associated with or operating in traditional places of worship and study like Synagogues, Shuls and Temples. They all pick that name for their pedagogical endeavors for the same religious reasons that Reform Rabbi Benjamin Frankel picked it for his Jewish "campus ministry" at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1923. Hillel the Elder was a national figure from the Second Commonwealth of Israel who "symbolized" open inquiry, the pursuit of life long learning and teaching of others, plurality, and social justice according to the principles of the so-called "Golden Rule". But he wasn't just another Rabbi who founded his own academy and attracted a few disciples. He was reputedly a descendant of King David and one of the Patriarchs of the Palestinian Jews who was accorded the title "Nasi" or Prince. He served as one of the Presidents of the Great Sanhedrin during the Temple era. As such, he had sufficient respect and religious authority to hand down decrees or decisions on Jewish law that became part of the Halakhah, which many religious Jews feel obliged to study and observe to this very day.

      Frankel's campus "Hillel" raised $12,000 in one day from Chicago business men and was doing business, as such, for more than a year before Frankel decided to approach the Reform Hebrew Union and the B'nai B'rith to see if they were interested in becoming his national sponsors. Here's a link to a Jewish Virtual Library reprint of the Encyclopaedia Judaica Hillel article on the subject © 2008 link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org and a related one at My Jewish Learning link to mobile.myjewishlearning.com

      Even B'nai B'rith publications admit that it didn't become involved or sponsor any campus Hillel organizations until 1925. While they credit Frankel, there are other examples of even older claimants, e.g.:

      Founded in 1916, Texas A&M Hillel is the oldest organization in the United States called “Hillel.”

      The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (TAMC) Menorah Club was organized in 1916 by Esther Taubenhaus and Dr. Jacob Taubenhaus, the first Jewish professor to be hired at TAMC. In the fall of 1920, the group was transformed into the TAMC Hillel Club under the guidance of Rabbi David Lefkowitz of Dallas.

      link to tamuhillel.org

      So there is no chicken and egg conundrum involved here at all. There were already campus Hillel clubs, branded as such, with common law rights to the name years before B'nai B'rith ever got involved.

    • Re: Hostage, that still doesn’t relieve JVP of the liability associated with improperly using the “Jewish” word and logo.

      To quote Rufus T. Firefly, "I object!" At the worst we would have to bamboozle the Judge with the patented "Who is Jew?" argument and then demand a dismissal on the grounds that the other "purported Jews" are just a bunch of rotten scoundrels who had failed to state a claim (i.e. alleged a cause of action that doesn't even exist). In any event, we could make a good counterclaim case over the way their flagrantly improper use of the terms "Jewish people" and "peace" - in the marketing of their "peace process" scam - had sullied everyone else's good "Jewish" reputations, names, and service marks.

    • "Hillel International is the sole and exclusive licensee with the right to use the famous Hillel name."

      Looks to me like Open Hillel should file a Title VI complaint against both Bnai Brith and Hillel International for making threats and discriminating against Jewish students on campus on the basis of their ethnicity or religious beliefs;-)

    • Re: If Swarthmore can get sued for using the “Hillel” name

      Anyone can file a lawsuit over trademark infringement, but B'nai Brith probably can't win one over the use of the term "Open Hillel". They have a registered Service Mark, "Hillel", for their association's services: namely, promoting the interests of members of the Jewish religion through religious, career and vocational counseling programs, sporting events and social programs, and by providing information on issues concerning human rights and inter-faith relations.

      But "Hillel" is a figure from the 2000 year old Talmudic literature and tradition. So there are thousands of so-called "Hillel" day schools, private schools, academies, & etc. which have nothing to do with B'nai Brith. They have obviously violated and diluted the trademark's value without B'nai Brith raising any complaints. The B'nai Brith didn't file "Hillel" as a "collective mark" that could only be used by a specific class of persons. In fact, anyone of the Jewish faith or any Jewish student association could legitimately claim to be "students" (talmudim) or followers of the "school of Hillel" or "house of Hillel" without obtaining Mr. Fingerhut's or B'nai Brith's consent (if I've read the Talmud and the 1st amendment correctly).

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • …….”The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression…..” ... "So who’s going to straighten out Jeb Bush’s blatant misconception ..."

      Okay. The announcements of new apartment buildings located beyond the armistice lines in Jerusalem only constitute an illegal threat of aggression in violation of article 2(4) and Article 24 and 25 of the UN Charter and the applicable Security Council resolutions. Once the apartments are actually built, and the Jewish settlers move in, that will constitute an act of aggression.

      For example, Count 3 of the Nuremberg Indictment, i.e. "(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES" charged the Nazis as follows:

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate those territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. The defendants endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of these plans and endeavors, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and introduced thousands of German colonists.

      -- See pdf page 73 (printed page 63) of The International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. 1 at the Library of Congress link to loc.gov or see the Indictment, Count 3 "War Crimes" at the Avalon Project link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      FYI, the Official documentary record of major US Foreign Policy decisions published by the U.S. State Department contains an entire chapter on "Resolutions proposed by the United States to the General Assembly of the United Nations to encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification" which reveals that it was actually the President of the United States who requested that the UN General Assembly codify the legal principles contained in the Nuremberg Charter as international law. See page 539 & et.seq of the Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution
  • Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List
    • I was doing a victory dance in the hopes of real change…

      No, any real change like you envisioned would most probably result in the whole party list being disqualified and banned from participating. The relevant law says:

      A candidates list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset, and a person shall not be a candidate for election to the Knesset, if the goals or actions of the list or the actions of the person, expressly or by implication, include one of the following>:

      (1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state;

      (2) incitement to racism;

      (3) support for armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.

      -- Basic Law- The Knesset -1958 as amended (2003) link to mfa.gov.il

    • Just, what is the power that will actually be in the hands of these 13 members and what was allowed Hanin Zoabi to accomplish in the Knesset other than getting the Zionist creeps all riled up?

      If you hadn't rained on the victory parade here, I would have had to do it too. After reading this, I'm interested to see if there is an English translation of the party platform.

      I'm uncomfortable with the portrayal here that there is a double standard that applies to these Palestinian politicians that allows them to focus only on Israel and their own civil rights, while forgetting about broader issues that impact their less fortunate brethren who live under much more dire circumstances beyond either the armistice lines or the borders of neighboring states. I wonder if they would approve of Allison's characterization:

      Foremost they realized as Palestinian citizens of Israel they all agree on one most basic principle: there should be equality under law and in practice between them and Israeli-Jews. Everything else, the peace process, the two state solution, polygamy could fall to the side. Their constituents see the internal resolutions and divisions as a new way forward, where diversity remains intact while pursuing equal rights with the power of Israel’s newly-minted third largest political party.

      I don't have to imagine the uproar if someone had accused the officials of the PA or Hamas of looking out for their own self-interests. So why would it be alright in this instance? I'm certain that they still privately support all of the items on the 2005 BDS call for action. Hana Zoabi's participation in the Gaza aid flotilla and the physical attacks upon her during speeches in the Knesset and in public appearances on the subject prove her solidarity beyond any doubt.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • “We need to look at fresh ideas,” said Carson. “I don’t have any problem with the Palestinians having a state, but does it need to be within the confines of Israeli territory? Is that necessary, or can you sort of slip that area down into Egypt? Right below Israel, they have some amount of territory, and it can be adjacent. They can benefit from the many agricultural advances that were made by Israel, because if you fly over that area, you can easily see the demarcation between Egypt and Israel, in terms of one being desert and one being verdant. Technology could transform that area. So why does it need to be in an area where there’s going to be temptation for Hamas to continue firing missiles at relatively close range to Israel?”

      Any student of history knows that those particular Zionist schemes and propaganda talking points are not "fresh ideas". On the contrary, the whole Zionist camel train got its "nose in the tent", so to speak, by promising that their superior technology would be a boon to the Arab inhabitants of a territory that they had identified as "Palestina" (not Israel) in the platform of the Zionist Congress of 1897. link to upload.wikimedia.org

      Many of the militants in Gaza are refugees, who are simply firing missiles at the inhabitants of the "verdant" agricultural land that the new state of Israel seized from them as plunder during the war of 1948. Likewise, there is nothing new about proposals to move penniless Palestinian refugees "across the border" into less desirable and presently barren places in the Sinai. Those ideas have been around ever since the days of the Johnston Mission (1952-1954) and neither the water nor the technology have ever been able to meet the demands of a project of sufficient scale. Here is some context about that territory of Israel from official U.S. documentary sources:

      8. Israel, even with its present expanded boundaries (as compared with the 1947 Partition Plan) is a crowded land of 1.6 million, yet her avowed intention is to welcome 2 1/2 million Jews (or any releasable fraction thereof) from behind the Iron Curtain. Her renewal of relations with the USSR, while probably intended primarily to increase Israel's maneuverability between East and West, has the stated objective of encouraging this emigration to Zion.
      9. Israel is in a weak moral position in welcoming such immigration, or any substantial fraction thereof, while insisting as she does that she will not permit repatriation of any Arab refugees. She therefore points to the security risk of such repatriation. While we recognize the security factor, it is not a decisive argument against re-admission of up to 100,000 peasants, who might work land which has lain fallow since 1948.
      10. The one firm Palestine issue in which we can take a balanced, impartial position now is in regard to the duty of both sides to assist the UN in an accelerated program to give many of the refugees a chance to work and make their living.
      11. We therefore think we should separate the refugee problem for special attack at this time. The report of the Near East Sub-committee of the Foreign Relations Committee (Tab B [C]) is helpful in this connection.
      12. Following is a rough outline of possibilities open to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees:
      In Jordan-A general agreement has been signed that holds out prospects, if engineering and political problems are solved, of settling (out of approximately 450,000 in Jordan) between . . . 150/200,000
      In Syria-Shishakli has signed an agreement covering the 80,000 refugees now in Syria, but he will not publicize this agreement and is slow in making land available to UNRWA . . . 80/80,000
      In Egypt-The government has signed an agreement to provide for settlement in Sinai, has made this agreement public, and engineering studies are going ahead. Out of approximately 200,000, this might cover . . . 100/150,000
      In Israel-No progress toward repatriation is noted, but a case could be made and pressed for as many as . . . 100/100,000

      In Lebanon-Lebanon has so far refused to settle any of the approximately 100,000 refugeees camped in her territory, fearing to upset her delicate balance between Christians and Muslims.
      In Iraq-Iraq has refused to cooperate beyond sheltering approximately 5,000 refugees. Her reasons are insistence on repatriation and on her primary duty to settle Bedouins and other indigents. Total prospects in sight therefore are within the range
      of ... 430/530,000

      -- United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954 - United States interest in promoting a reduction of tension between the Arab States and Israel; United States relations with Israel; the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; United States interest in the development of the water resources of the Near East; the missions of Eric Johnston, page 1272 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

    • I think this is as good a place as any to quote this:

      Here's some more. Politico is reporting on Netanyahu's blundering attempts to clarify his own campaign remarks:

      “I was trying to mobilize my own forces,” Netanyahu said in an interview with NPR published Friday. “And that mobilization was based on Arab money — sorry, on foreign money, a lot of foreign money that was coming in.”

      -- link to politico.com

      Of course, Zionists claim that any mention at all of "Jewish money" is automatically an example of blatant anti-Semitism. So they try to style their objections as being against "foreign money" in interviews like that one and the one with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. When she asked if the money came from America? He replied that some of it was from America, and that some of it was from Islamic and anti-Israel sources. Considering that Netanyahu has no objection to American money, so long as it's coming from the likes of Sheldon Adelson, Irving Moskowitz, the ZOA, et al, his remarks and clarifications can only be interpreted as racism and religious bigotry directed against Gentile voters or Gentile money.

  • From Nogales, Arizona to Ofer prison: Witnessing racism in the American and Israeli borderlands
    • @hostage “even the World Bank agrees” …well, I mean, who could argue with THAT? The World Bank, now, that’s a final authority on all matters.

      Not at all. I was just alluding to the fact that the US Government can't really take issue with the banks reports, since the other shareholders were faced with the choice of accepting or rejecting the US nominee for President of the Bank during the period in question. China and most of the Asian states and the BRICS countries have plans to jump ship and establish their own banks because the World Bank is viewed as too much of a client of the US government.

      In any event, the bank has reported that poverty dropped from 50.4 per cent in 1998 to 28.5 per cent in 2009 due in large part to redistribution of the country's oil income. The inequality index went from 0.498 in 1999 to 0.412 in 2008. That's unparallelled in Latin America. But at the same time, crime and charges of corruption and human rights abuses skyrocketed. Like I said, I’m not an enthusiastic supporter of the Chavez or Maduro governments.

      Nothing like an American lecturing on how waiting in line is no big deal.

      I didn't mean to belittle your problems. OTOH there is nothing like comparing "waiting in line" for commodities with the aftermath and destruction caused by internecine wars - complete with US trained, equipped, and funded death squads - tens of thousands killed or missing; and hundreds of thousands of homeless refugees - including helpless and unaccompanied children.

    • Yup, the reason Venezuelans wait in line for 3 hours to get their quotas of toilet paper and tampons is the evil US. If the genius of Maduro was given full rein we would no doubt cure cancer and solve illiteracy and overpopulation too. Lol.

      I think you are trying to divert attention away from the real issue I was discussing by being truculent or flippant about the effects of subversive CIA and DoD interventions in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, & etc. See for example: The U.S., Colombia & the Spread of the Death Squad State link to counterpunch.org The inhabitants of the region no doubt view things like US trained and subsidized death squads as a bigger issue than standing in line for basic commodities. The US border security measures mentioned in the article above certainly aren't necessary because there are multitudes of Venezuelan illegals trying to sneak into the USA. While I'm not an enthusiastic supporter of the Chavez or Maduro governments, even the World Bank admits that their redistribution of oil income reduced poverty by 50 percent. The Obama administration claim that Venezuela poses a national security threat to the USA is simply ludicrous and counter-productive. It has been condemned by The Union of South American Nations and foreign affairs experts alike. See for example: link to theguardian.com

      No matter how bad you claim that things are in Venezuela, there are about a quarter of a million Colombian refugees living there today who obviously think they are better off in Venezuela than living under the conditions the US has helped create for them back home or elsewhere in the region. I suspect that most of the US furor over human rights conditions in Venezuela really stems from the desires of US oil interests and some local industrialists to dictate domestic Venezuelan policies from Washington. The US standard procedure is to act unilaterally in violation of the UN and OAS Charter and to quietly fund both peaceful and violent paramilitary opposition groups. As I noted earlier, the World Court concluded that the US government was guilty of aggression and that it owed the victim states concerned billions in unpaid compensation for its illegal military and paramilitary campaigns. That obviously is no laughing matter.

    • Yep, an amnesty for 6 million illegals? Peanuts! ... Btw if this is bothering you, you should vote GOP in 2016.

      I've already pointed out that, if you don't like it, you should amend the U.S. Constitution. Presidents from both the Republican and Democrat party have granted similar mass amnesties in the past and each time it happens again the statistical odds against another one get lower and lower.

      I guess some people are only satisfied when the border guard is officially dismantled and the gov declares that every immigrant is welcome.

      Other than the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s, just about every kind of immigrant was welcomed by our government. The plaque on the Statute of Liberty still proclaims it. Until the Quota Acts of the 1920s were adopted very little changed. Those were largely the result of yellow journalism campaigns, just like ones being waged today. They were carried out by the likes of the New York Times beginning in the 1880s. They were directed against various ethnic minority groups, such as the 30 million or so Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Here is an example of one complaining that Jews were unsanitary, stupid, and uncivilized - and that they were spoiling the neighborhood:

      Yet the long-whiskered descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah on the east side gets out of the street without being hit with a stone or having a putrid fish or piece of meat thrown in his face.
      This neighborhood, peopled almost entirely by the people who claim to have been driven from Poland and Russia, is the eyesore of New York, and perhaps the filthiest place on the Western Continent. It is impossible for a Christian to live there, because he will be driven out, either by blows or the dirt and stench.
      Cleanliness is an unknown quantity to these people. They cannot be lifted up to a higher plane because they do not want to be. If the cholera should ever get among these people they would scatter its germs as a sower does grain.

      — Published: July 30, 1893 The New York Times link to query.nytimes.com

      I would be happier if the US would just pay more attention to those borders in the first place when we decide to conduct covert wars in Central America in violation of our international obligations or if we would pay the reparations due to the countries in Central and South America for our illegal interventions there in the past. Our own government's misdeeds left much of those regions economically and politically devastated and it doesn't look any better when we Americans blame the victims than it does when the Zionists do it.

    • His mass amnesty and de facto abolition of border control wasn’t enough for you?

      WTF? Article 2, section 2, clause 1 of the Constitution has always given the President nearly unlimited power to grant reprieves or pardons to anyone for criminal offenses against United States. So there's no sense in me getting "all worked up about it" when one of them actually does it.

      In any event, there were "Mexicans" living here long before I personally "discovered America" - and they were already here when my ancestors helped setup the first Zionist colony in our State. The part of town where I live today was actually established as a Mexican American community in the 1880s, when the founders were encouraged to emigrate to curtail the labor shortages in mining, agriculture, and the railroads. That remained part of the status quo right up until the 1950s. Many of my childhood friends were either Mexicans themselves or had parents who were. Many more were first generation US citizens. Back then, if someone had told me that I'd live to see the day when our government would start shreying Gevault, as if that was some sort of dire situation, I'd have told them they were crazy. If Presidents Regan, Bush, and Obama in-turn, each resorted to offers of "amnesty", then there just might be something intrinsically flawed with the idea behind the statute and the need for that type of border control in the first place.

    • Hell yes! This is a great article. I've been wanting to see something about these social parallels and corporate connections at Mondo for years. James North and I exchanged a few emails last summer over the subject of the surge of refugee women and children from Central America who were fleeing gang violence. We agreed that situation had its roots in the U.S.-sponsored wars there in the 1980s that economically devastated the countries in the region. The ICJ opinion in Nicaragua vs. the United States held the U.S. accountable for the military aggression and said it was responsible for reparations claims (valued in the hundreds of billions) that remain unpaid to this very day.

      I would only add that there are still untapped subjects for more articles about things like the ironic parallels between Netanyahu's Iranian security psychosis and Obama's recent Executive Order which declared Venezuela a "national security threat"; or Obama's failure to end one of the world's longest illegal military occupations by closing both the Naval base at Guantanamo and its notorious detention facility in order to (really) normalize relations with Cuba, etc., etc., etc,.

    • Page: 102
  • Who can save Israel now?
    • First off: Self determination: link to en.wikipedia.org ... These are not terms I’m making up. ... Self determination most explicitly does not limit itself to persons whose families came to a territory by particular means

      As usual, you are deploying jargon to support a specious argument (that the UN is an apologist for a dictatorship & etc.). The right of self-determination isn't governed by the rules contained in Wikipedia. It's governed by the customary rules reflected in the UN Charter and the applicable UN Human Rights Declarations and Conventions. All of the primary UN political and judicial organs have repeatedly affirmed that Israel is in flagrant violation of the applicable customary rules.

      While it used to be true, that self-determination wasn't limited to persons whose families came to a territory by particular means, thast isn't true anymore. Fascist-style colonialism became a crime against humanity after WWII. In particular, "forced eviction by military attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid or genocide" are crimes for which no statutory limitations apply. - See the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity and re-read the Declaration Granting Independence to Colonial Peoples and Countries once again for comprehension. It explained that:

      Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

      The Jews were never granted the right to establish a "Jewish Nation-State" by the United Nations, let alone given permission to violate the UN Charter, the UN mandated armistice agreements, or sanctioned to acquire territory from another UN member state by war. In fact, UN resolution 181(II) reflected a pre-existing "sacred trust of civilization" which absolutely prohibited the new states from doing any such a thing. Fundamental human rights were placed under UN guarantee and both of the new States were required to acknowledge an international obligation and undertaking to adopt fundamental laws and a democratic constitution in which "discrimination of any kind between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex was prohibited". The constitutions also had to stipulate that "All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws." - "and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them." That is the only kind of "Jewish" or "Arab" state that has ever been sanctioned in accordance with black letter international law in the former mandated territory of Palestine.

    • Exactly. You are still equivocating between two different meanings of nationality ... So citizenship is not the same as nationality1.
      3) The state of Israel has a nationality classification system for its citizens. Call that nationality2.

      No, you are engaging in deliberate dishonesty, dissimulation, and obfuscation. The Supreme Court of Israel has explicitly ruled on a number of occasions that there is only one meaning of Jewish nationality and that it is always synonymous with the term Israeli - which cannot be legally applied to the non-Jewish citizens of the State of Israel. There is no "French" parallel or analogy for any such two-tiered racist legal policy and practice whereby some French citizens can be excluded from the legal rights or immunities pertaining to French nationality. Full stop.

      Likewise, your exposition on self-determination of peoples is at odds with the applicable principles of customary and conventional international law. Article 1 of the UN Charter contains an obligation for member States to respect "the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples". It makes it perfectly clear that those are two indivisible parts of one legal precept and that member states are prohibited from discriminating against their citizens on the basis of distinctions as to race, sex, language, or religion. In both the Namibian and the Palestinian Wall case, the ICJ findings of fact were grounded in that treaty obligation. The Court found that the policies and practices adopted by the governments of South Africa and Israel had violated the UN Charter obligation - and East Jerusalem was cited as one of the specific examples.

      The right of self-determination is explained in:
      *The UN Charter
      *The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The UN Human Rights Conventions,
      *The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
      *The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,
      *The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

      Those documents make it perfectly clear that the right of self-determination of peoples:

      shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and thus possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind.

      That means that ethnic or religious groups of people do not have a right of self determination or secession when they participate freely in a democratic government that adequately represents "the whole people belonging to a territory". Ethnic Diasporas inherently share territories with other peoples and do not have an automatic right to establish a separate state of their own on the grounds of self-determination. In most cases they don't constitute the entire population of a region and can't satisfy the territorial aspects or criteria for "statehood", i.e. a population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to conduct foreign relations - without violating the rights of other peoples. Ethnic groups don't ever have the right to establish "territorial integrity" through deportations, forced population transfers of others, or revocation of residency or private property rights on the basis of ethnic distinctions or so-called "sovereignty".

    • French citizens are French [in the national sense]

      No they aren’t. That’s precisely what the Muslim radicalization debate in France is all about.

      That's completely false. As a matter of both the facts and the law French citizens are French nationals and no one there is debating the application of an Israel-style two-tiered municipal legal system, which would provide superior civil or political rights and privileges to persons of French descendancy, while treating the other indigenous non-French citizens as if they are aliens or lower, second class citizens in their own country of origin. Israel has actually done that. It has even adopted dozens of even more discriminatory laws, policies, and practices, since the UN and it's own Or Commission concluded that Israeli Arabs were subjected to systematic and pervasive discrimination. The relevant treaty monitoring body has repeatedly observed that the lack of a constitutionally-guaranteed right of equality and maintenance of separate Jewish and Arab sectors and levels of funding in the areas of housing, access to public lands, and education raise serious issues in connection with the prohibition of apartheid and racial segregation contained in article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

      Exactly the judge is talking about the Jewish people not the Israeli citizens. Obviously diaspora jews aren’t Israeli citizens at all.

      That is also incorrect. The Judge was saying that "Israeli" is merely a synonym for "Jewish" - and that only persons of that nationality are entitled to citizenship under the Law of Return. That includes Diaspora Jews, but not Palestinians (aka "Arabs") born in the country, who are never considered to be "Israeli" for the purposes of the Law of Return. FYI, that policy and practice would be a flagrant violation of the law of the EU (acquis communautaire) on human rights, racism, and xenophobia. Being registered as "Jewish for the purposes of the Law of Return" is a formal legal status or legal prerequisite to enjoyment of a plethora of other statutory rights and privileges in the State of Israel. Try to get some clue.

    • Mikhael, I'm perfectly well aware of the fact that there have been fair skinned and dark skinned Jews living throughout the Middle East for centuries. The same thing can be said for the Palestinians, who were also part of the same multinational empire.

      I've commented about the fact that, in many cases, Jews from Palestine and other Arab lands were very zealous enemies of the other indigenous Palestinian ethnic groups. They aided and abetted in the pillaging of the country and the acts of terror committed against Palestinians.
      Zionist historian, Walter Laqueur, noted that “Among the Irgun and the Stern Gang there were many youngsters from the Oriental Jewish community, which was not widely represented in the non-terrorist Hagana.” See A history of terrorism, Transaction Publishers, 1977, page 122
      One area of the Hagana where they were over-represented was in the Palmach’s corps of assassins. Jewish undercover units, called “The Arabists of the Palmach” or Mista’arvim [literally, "Arab-pretenders"], are known to have been in operation in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries as early as 1942. —See Targeting To Kill: Israel’s Undercover Units, Elia Zureik and Anita Vitullo, The Palestine Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC)
      *link to thejerusalemfund.org
      *link to palmach.org.il
      and Zvika Dror, The ’Arabists’ of the Palmach (Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986)

      Whatever was is mostly a thing of the past that’s exaggerated by the Mondo militants. I wonder why.

      Because you only elect one Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, or Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor at a time to represent a population of 7 million plus. Those ministers are all running around making public statements which claim that Arab citizens are a demographic threat; that Arab suspects should simply be killed instead of being brought to trial; that they should have their heads cutoff; that there really are such things as special "Jewish genes"; and bemoaning the fact that migrants do not recognize that Israel 'belongs to the white man". If those are only fringe or minority viewpoints, then I wonder why they are espoused by your very top state officials?

      You have failed to establish that Israel’s recording its citizens’ nationality as “Jewish” or “Arab” in the Population Registry is a “distinction … which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life” per the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

      In fact the CERD panel of experts, who are tasked with monitoring treaty compliance have repeatedly cited the government's maintenance of separate Jewish and Arab sectors as a violation of the article 3 prohibition of apartheid or racial discrimination.

    • There is no broad nationality identity for the territory France other than the French nationality. And the court was saying the analogous situation applies to Israel.

      Are you really that dense? The State of Israel maintains a population registry where it catalogs its own citizens under 120-plus different "nationalities".

      The persons who are considered Jewish nationals in accordance with the Law of Return have superior rights and privileges under a plethora of state laws. French citizens are French, but there is no such thing as an "Israeli" nationality that includes Arab persons or doesn't include Jews living everywhere else worldwide. That's what the court actually said in a line of cases starting with this decision:

      There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. . . . The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries.”

      -- See CA 630/70 Tamarin v. Israel 26(1) IsrSC 197, 225 [1970]

      I'm pretty certain you know that there is no French parallel or analogy.

    • The same thing happens to green card holders in the USA (it happened to my father), if they leave the USA for more than a year (unlike Israel, which allows for 7 years before it deems permanent residents to have abandoned the country), they can be deemed to have abandoned the US and can be subject to having their permanent residency revoked.

      Be careful, your racism is showing. You almost have to go back to the 18th century to find any legal support for the ideas you are espousing. For example, Israelis pretend that they "inherited laws" from the Ottomans, as if that is a valid excuse. On the other hand, Turkey has modern laws which permit things like civil marriages.
      In any event, I've always been fascinated by the many historical and modern day examples of Jews from the US, Poland, Russia, and elsewhere who compare the native Palestinians to "green card" holders. It's not "as if" Palestinians are somehow comparable to tourists, students, or immigrants in their own damned country. They were, and still are, the lawful inhabitants or the indigenous population. I'm certain that the racists here in the US were infuriated when President Wilson and the Congress made the enemies of our own "Indian Wars" citizens of the US, instead of merely granting them permanent residency. In the end, it wasn't respect for any of the treaties they had made with the Indian Nations that mattered. It was their ambiguous status under the Hague treaties that all of the American states had signed with the Europeans. It was more convenient, at the time, to treat indigenous peoples as domestic national minorities subject to our own apartheid-style legal system, ethnic enclaves, prohibitions against intermarriage, and etc. In time, it was grudging surrender to activists and UN positions on decolonization, human rights, and its codification of treaties on those subjects and the elimination of all forms of racism that finally led to liberalization of our own discriminatory laws. Nonetheless, Zionist invariably try to justify their own bad behavior by citing the wrongdoing of others, as if two wrongs make a right.

    • Following Israel’s annexation of the part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan from 1949-1967, it offered the Arab population legally residing there Israeli citizenship, however, most elected to remain Jordanian citizens while receiving permanent residency status in Israel, which granted them the right to live and work anywhere in Israel, social insurance pensions and health insurance as well.

      What you are describing is illegal. If the annexation of East Jerusalem was unconditional, then the citizenship of the inhabitants of the territory should have been unconditional too. International law doesn't permit you to revoke the right of the inhabitants to leave and return to their own country of origin - period.

      FYI, I'm aware of the fact that Israel was contemplating a number of illegal schemes to obtain Palestinian territory, without the inhabitants, if it could only figure out a plausible way to accomplish that goal. For example, forced population transfer into Egyptian territory. Your foreign minister shared that bit of information with the US State Department. He also admitted that Israel did not plan on granting the inhabitants of the West Bank citizenship, the vote, or a self-determination, but rather a economic plan that would permit Israelis to access and exploit the territory. Frankly what he was describing is an example of de facto annexation and the establishment of ethnic ghettos under a system of separate and unequal laws amounting to apartheid:

      In dinner conversation with me Sept 19 Eban outlined current Israeli policy flowing from internal debate during summer and recent series of cabinet meetings. Essential points he made are set out below. Rafael and Harman present on Israeli side, and Sisco, Buffum and Pedersen on US side. ...

      Gaza territory was also security problem for Israel. Israel would like have the territory without the population but did not see how that could come about. He intimated there may even be an exchange of territory along the international frontier in favor of Egypt in return for Gaza Strip going to Israel. He thought Egypt might even be glad to be rid of Gaza Strip. Another possibility apparently under consideration was some form of international authority of Gaza Strip. (Eban noted this had been discussed in 1956 with US and that he had memcon with Dulles in his files about it.) ...

      Re Jerusalem, the Holy Moslem quarter would create perpetual emotional religious problems as long as it under Israeli control. GOI therefore had in mind arrangement which would put it under Moslem control and sovereignty. Rest of city was now united, and Arab inhabitants were free to travel throughout Israel. There could be some arrangement which would insure free Jordanian access to and participation in economic life of city.

      West Bank presented particularly difficult problems. Incorporation of West Bank into Israel, with its large Arab population, would completely transform Israel's national existence and reason for being. An Israeli demographic expert had estimated that at present rate of population growth this would produce an Arab majority in Israel within 15 years. In any case it would cause a total reshaping of Israeli politics, as Arab votes were sought, and thus produce alterations in structure of Israel that they did not desire. Neither could Arabs be incorporated into Israel without granting them Israeli citizenship. This would not be permitted by international community nor would it be acceptable to Israeli people themselves.

      Eban said they had also given thought to establishment of separate, autonomous Palestinian state on West Bank. This also has serious drawbacks. Days of autonomous dependent regions had really passed. Creation of Palestinian state might simply increase irredentist desires. There would be yet another Arab state on Arab scene. In a year or two it would ask for UN membership, and it would be admitted. Such prospects did not look attractive. On the other hand, now that Israelis for first time had opportunity to visit areas of historic significance to them, it would be difficult for their citizens to understand govt simply turning the area back. Sort of thinking they were therefore thinking of would include two elements: (a) demilitarization of West Bank, with a UN inspection system; and (b) some form of economic, customs or travel arrangements which would permit access to and larger cooperation with the area. He referred to possibility of a free port on Mediterranean for Jordan as a move in same direction. I believe he also had in mind some border adjustments for security purposes, as he referred to Israeli security psychosis resulting from fact entire population was in range of Arab guns but he was not precise about what they might be.

      link to history.state.gov

      The article you linked to discusses Arab Jerusalemites who never took advantage of the option they had to become citizens of Israel and left the country for an extended period of time. As non-citizen permanent residents and in accordance with international standards, they run the risk of losing their residency rights.

      Nothing you described meets international standards. What you are discussing is a grave breach of both the content and intent of the Hague IV rules of 1907, and Articles 6 and 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949, and Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol i.e. a war crime. It is also a deliberate violation of the UN human rights treaties to which both Israel and Jordan were parties. The inhabitants of those countries have the right to leave and return to their own country of origin - period.

    • South Africa never asserted that Namibia was part of South Africa.

      That's incorrect. The first request for an ICJ Advisory Opinion over "The International Status of South West Africa" (aka Namibia) was the result of a letter from the South African government dated 26 August 1946. It contained a proposal to unilaterally terminate the LoN mandate and the "territorial integration in, and the annexation to, the Union of South Africa
      of the mandated Territory of South-West Africa". It decided on that course of action rather than grant the inhabitants their independence or establish a UN trusteeship as the General Assembly had originally requested. South Africa argued that it had always been understood that it had been promised the mandated territory, in exactly the same fashion that some Zionists today still insist that they were promised all of the territory in Palestine and Transjordan. The letter asked that the plan be placed on the agenda of the General Assembly. The Assembly refused to approve the plan and instead requested an opinion from the International Court.

      That’s nothing like Israel’s status with Jerusalem which they have formally annexed.

      Correction: The UN Security Council implemented a regime of non-recognition which decided that the Basic Law Jerusalem was null and void. It did that on the basis of the very same longstanding principles, i.e. non-annexation and the obligation to treat the well-being and development of the peoples living there as "a sacred trust of civilization". See the relevant ICJ Advisory Opinions cited below.

      FYI, the Basel Platform of the Zionist Congress implicitly acknowledged that their national home could only be established in accordance with public law. But what you are describing is a flagrant violation of public international law. Unilaterally imposed dispositions of territories and their populations as a result of wars had been outlawed in the 19th century by both the Concert of Europe and the First International Conference of American States. That resulted in the adoption of customary prohibitions contained in the Hague rules of 1907 regarding belligerent and armistice occupation regimes, which in turn led to the adoption of the LoN system of mandates as "sacred trusts of civilization". See page 7-18 of the ICJ's S.W. Africa opinion link to icj-cij.org and pages 33-35 of the ICJ's advisory opinion on the Wall. See also Eyal Benvenisti, “The Origins of the Concept of Belligerent Occupation, Law and History Review 26.3 (2008), link to archive.is and get yourself some clue.

      The areas that Israel annexed it has granted full civil rights and the vote ergo no apartheid. The areas under a military dictatorship aren’t annexed.

      That's obviously false in the case of East Jerusalem. I've already pointed out that Israel did not provide the inhabitants of the territory it annexed citizenship, which is a basic civil right. It still refuses to honor requests or petitions for citizenship from the inhabitants in the majority cases. Israel even revoked the residency rights of thousands of them, while expropriating all of their land and property for the personal use of Jewish settlers.

      That’s you conflating multiple issues.

      One of your basic problems seems to be literacy, The items mentioned above are all flagrant violations or outright denial of the most basic of "civil rights" and they all fall under the heading of the crime of apartheid . They are not separate offenses. They are explicitly mentioned in the apartheid convention. It prohibits "Any measures including legislative measures", which includes the use of legislative or de facto annexation to carry out expropriation of landed property belonging to another group, denial of nationality, prohibition of mixed marriages, & etc. link to www1.umn.edu

      Bull, they have the consent and support of the governed which is the ultimate legitimate source

      I won't even dignify that with an answer, other than to point out that there were only 17,000 Jewish refugees from all of Palestine after the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreement with Jordan. Even if all of them had been from East Jerusalem, they still would have only constituted a minority of its total population.

    • now it’s the scourge of the black water tanks posing an existential danger to the Jewish State. Water tanks. ... Black water tanks are contrary to the principles of Jewish plumbing?

      One thing at a time. We are still discussing the aptness of JeffB's knee jerk reaction to Phil's comment about the existence of discrimination in Israel on the basis of skin color. Once that's been established, then we can all move on to the subject of irrational bigotry directed against Palestinians on the basis of their black colored water tanks ;-)

      I always know the way I feel about these things, but Hostage usually knows why I feel that way.

      The feeling is mutual. I admire what you two do here too. Most of the time, I'd rather be making fun of the Zionists than discussing things with them. Your posts usually reflect the way that I feel about their arguments and hasbara talking points.

    • The reason is they rejected it. They refused allegiance to the sovereign. ... There is a huge difference between someone being offered a slice of pizza and refusing, and not being offered a slice because of their race. Conflating the two is lying.

      What's the difference between that position and the (now) moot arguments employed by the South African government to justify its own occupation of neighboring Namibia? It complained that Namibians refused to pay allegiance or renounce their solidarity with SWAPO, et al. SWAPO, the ANC, and the PLO happened to be recognized by the UN General Assembly as provisional governments or national liberation movements entitled to resist foreign occupation and domination and to exercise self determination.

      So what if they refused? After all we are tallking about an Israeli regime that was committing both war crimes and a crime against humanity against the inhabitants by the action it decided to take. The prohibition of apartheid and annexations are part of customary law reflected in Article 1 and 2(4) of the UN Charter and in the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, GA Res. 2625 (XXV), annex (Oct. 24, 1970). Israeli lawmakers only represented a belligerent occupying power, which was bereft of any legitimate source of sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

      In any event, Article 3 of the Apartheid Convention explains that the perpetrator's motive or rationale is completely irrelevant:

      International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:

      (a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned in article II of the present Convention;

      (b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.

      link to www1.umn.edu

      But being inhabitant doesn’t grant you citizenship. For example in the USA here a Green Card holder is an inhabitant but citizenship requires you swear an oath renouncing foreign allegiance, .... We are talking about people buying a home from another person or a real estate company and living in it. Same as anywhere else.

      Palestinians don't need green cards, since they aren't tourists or immigrants of the territory in question. Denying the entire indigenous population citizenship; equal rights and representation in "a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind"; or the right of self-determination and independence is precisely the definition of apartheid adopted by the UN and subsequently employed by the ICJ in the Namibia case. In fact, the government of South Africa employed the same line of argumentation that you have here in an attempt to justify its own illegal occupation. FYI, being a habitual resident of the former Ottoman territory happened to be the basis for acquiring Palestinian citizenship by operation of both municipal and international law, i.e. the Palestinian Citizenship Order in Council, 1925 and Article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne.:

      SECTION II .
      NATIONALITY.
      ARTICLE 30.

      Turkish subjects habitually resident in territory which in accordance with the provisions of the present Treaty is detached from Turkey will become ipsofacto, in the conditions laid down by the local law, nationals of the State to which such territory is transferred.

      link to wwi.lib.byu.edu

      That was simply a reflection of customary law or the "Law of Nations", which had long since declared that a change of sovereignty can't be employed to revoke the inhabitants right of residence and private property rights, e.g.:

      The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed."

      -- U.S. Supreme Court "United States v. Percheman, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 51 51 (1832)" link to supreme.justia.com

      The fact is that the government of Israel, the settlers, their banks, and their real estate companies were advised decades ago that they were all engaging in a illegal or criminal enterprise. 10 percent of the illegal settlers hold dual US citizenship according to figures supplied by the US Consulate in Jerusalem. The US State Department has published advisories for years warning against attempts to either buy or lease property in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and East Jerusalem.

    • I said two nationalities. In this context two nationalities on their ID card. Israeli law only allows for one nationality on their ID card. A person with one legal nationality can have dual citizenship.

      That was exactly my point. The territory that these people inhabited supposedly became part of Israel by operation of a municipal law. There is no reason, except for a deliberate policy of apartheid, which can explain why the inhabitants didn't automatically acquire citizenship by operation of that same law. That's especially true when the so-called Jewish national inhabitants can opt to acquire or retain dual citizenship. Denial of nationality is one of the constituent acts of the Crime of Apartheid cited in Article 2 of the UN convention. Prohibition of mixed marriages is another. link to www1.umn.edu

      The Israeli Supreme Court's repeated refusal to permit every citizen to be registered as an "Israeli national" is a perfect example of a "policy and practice" of discrimination adopted for the purpose segregation or for the establishment and maintenance of domination by one ethic national group over another ethnic national group in order to systematically oppress them. The fact that Israel has subsequently revoked the residency of over a quarter million Palestinian inhabitants who have been displaced from that, and the other occupied territories, is equally telling. You and Mikhael were engaged in artless dissimulation about the ease with which all of these people could supposedly apply for and obtain citizenship; the right to vote; and hold public office in East Jerusalem. Even your meager source explained that two-thirds of the applications were not approved.

      I’d also agree, the whole concept of “settler” is IMHO racist crap. ... I find it terrible ironic to see people calling me racist while expressing their deep support for housing segregation.

      If you're deliberately trying to look absurd, then you're being wildly successful at it. In most cases we are talking about Israeli criminals who have conspired to convert plundered Palestinian land and/or property for their own personal use and enrichment. FYI, it happens to be the Jews who control the travel and building permit systems that dictate the boundaries in which the disenfranchised Palestinians are allowed to live and work. That system is illegal and immoral, regardless of whether you end up with one state or two. For example, here how Israel's Holocaust Museum describes a similar process that targeted Jews:

      Expropriation of Jewish property was an essential element of Nazi anti-Jewish policy. The Nazis systematically plundered land and property throughout Europe that had been obtained through hard work and creativity for hundreds of years and which were an important part of Jewish economic and cultural activity.

      -- Yad Vashem, "The Holocaust, The Outbreak of World War II and Anti-Jewish Policy: Expansion of German Conquest and Policy Towards Jews" link to yadvashem.org

      The IDF's own records reveal that one third of the land occupied by Jewish communal settlements in the Occupied Territories was stolen Palestinian private property. See Steven Erlanger, "West Bank Sites on Private Land, Data Shows", New York Times, 14 March, 2007 link to nytimes.com

      The case with plundered Palestinian public land and natural resources is even worse. Article 6 of the Palestine Mandate clearly stipulated that "State lands or waste lands required for public use" were not to be included in the land made available for Jewish settlement. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      After the Elon Moreh case, those "state lands" were precisely the lands that were illegally expropriated for use by the Israeli settlements - and millions of dunams were misappropriated:

      When the occupation began, the land owned by Jews before 1948 and administered by the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property in the West Bank was estimated at 30,000 dunums out of a total area of 5.50 million dunums (a dunum is 1,000 sq.m.). These lands were located mainly in the Jerusalem metropolitan area and the Etzion Bloc, situated south of Jerusalem. By 2003, land appropriated, inter alia, for Israeli settlements in the West Bank (including Jerusalem) constituted 2,346,000 dunums i.e. 41.9 percent of the total area of the West Bank.

      -- Written Statement submitted by Palestine to the International Court of Justice, 29 January 2004 link to icj-cij.org

      There's nothing hypocritical about someone in the BDS movement advocating for equal rights and a single state solution + removal of the illegal Jewish settlements and restoration of plundered land and property throughout the West Bank, including Jerusalem, "that had been obtained through hard work and creativity for hundreds of years" and which remain an important part of Palestinian economic and cultural activity. Likewise, there is nothing hypocritical about bringing those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity (on either side) to justice.

    • Hey, glad you’re back Hostage! Please stick around.

      I certainly intend to. I'm glad to see that you're still here.

    • And statistics show two generations of rapidly growing economic equality while the marriage statistics show the social marginalization isn’t happening.

      No they are still routinely under represented in the media and in top level professional positions, e.g. A demand from the Mizrahim link to haaretz.com and Intra-Jewish Discrimination in Israel link to fpif.org

      Israeli law doesn’t allow someone to have two nationalities

      If there aren't any dual citizens, then why do IDF regulations only ban such individuals from serving in the submarine service, certain IDF combat units, and for posts requiring high security clearance? See for example "IDF submarine fleet bans dual citizenship" link to ynetnews.com

      Please provide a citation to the relevant Knesset statute or administrative regulation you had in mind. Individuals like Michael Oren and Benjamin Netanyahu have been allowed to hold dual US/Israeli citizenship, right up until the moment they actually run for an elected office or accept an appointment to a position in the government of the State of Israel. Zionists and their organizations have engaged in endless lawfare, either as parties or amicus curiae in US Supreme Court cases, in order to secure the right of US citizens living in Israel to vote in Israeli elections or serve in the military without sacrificing their US citizenship, e.g. AFROYIM v. RUSK link to oyez.org

      As for your claims about a discriminatory nationality… that’s nonsense. ... the state encourages intermarriage between Sephardic and Ashkenazi.

      No, the discriminatory nationality in question is the "Arab"one employed by the Interior Ministry for official purposes in the population registry for non-Jews. You claimed that Palestinians and Mizrahim belong to the same race, but Israel certainly doesn't officially encourage intermarriage between its other Arab citizens and its "Arab Jews". In fact it's prohibited under domestic law. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there is no Israeli nationality other than the Jewish people, including the Diaspora. So the unofficial terminology "Israeli Arab" can only logically include the Mizrahi community (which objects to the label).

    • With the recognition in his hand, Netanyahu could begin the systematic eliminating of Palestinians in Israel and it would wipe out the Palestinians’ claim of RoR.

      Well he, and every other Israeli PM, have been doing that without any recognition in hand. I'm certain that the demand for recognition of Israel as "the State of the Jewish people" is deliberate racial incitement and would certainly be deployed to propagandize against RoR. But the right of refugees and prisoners to opt for repatriation is guaranteed against any such recognition, agreement, or renunciation by the rules of customary international law reflected in articles 6, 7, and 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention - not to mention Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Deportation or forcible transfer of an indigenous population is recognized as a crime against humanity. The prohibition of war crimes and crimes against humanity are black letter jus cogens international law. Palestine is a contracting state party to both of those treaties. So any final agreement that conflicts with their terms would be null and void from the outset. That's why RoR has been described as an "inalienable right, i.e.:

      Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;

      -- General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX). Question of Palestine link to un.org

      That's also why the US and Israel want lots and lots of peace talks and have forever delayed any actual (and legally unenforceable) agreement.

    • Can you imagine Merkel issuing a statement in a tight German Election that Jews are being bussed in to vote for the Liberals?

      I dunno, she has made equally clueless statements about the need to respect the territorial integrity of other states (a basic UN Charter treaty obligation) so they will give up nuclear weapons or stop pursuing their production under the terms of the NPT, i.e.:

      Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, brought renewed attention at the Munich Security Conference this month to the Budapest Memorandum, an instrument adopted some twenty years ago by Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Chancellor said that the Russian Federation, by invading eastern Ukraine and annexing Crimea, “has broken its commitment to the Budapest Memorandum.” Merkel asked, “Who would give up their nuclear capability if their territorial integrity were not respected?

      -- link to ejiltalk.org

      Here's a link to the Budapest security agreement link to un.org

      Germany is a member of the P5+1 that obviously doesn't apply that same rationale to the negotiations with Iran. Israel and the US Congress are constantly threatening to blockade or bomb Iranian nuclear facilities that are perfectly legal under the NPT and the Statute of the IAEA. Merkel is aware of those threats, but still provides Israel with nuclear capable submarines. I've commented in the past that Article 10 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty specifically allows a state party to withdraw from the agreement whenever its national security is threatened in that fashion:

      ARTICLE X
      1. Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the
      Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.

      -- link to iaea.org

      Can you imagine the global shit storm and Zionist chest-beating that would evoke around the globe?

      Yes, but the Zionists would love nothing more. They want Germany to make Israeli ex-pats or Jewish emigrants from other countries to feel as unwelcome as possible there. They have always lobbied the German governments for legislation to accomplish that goal. See for example: Germany Is Moving To End Mass Immigration of Jews From Russia link to forward.com

    • Indeed, and Hadash also supports a 2ss (what for??? They say it’s because a 1ss is not “practical”) and also accepts being called the Joint “Arab” List — again, why?

      You either understand set theory and unions between sets or you don't. The set of all Arab parties includes one member that happens to be both a Jewish and Arab party. The five seat threshold was established to prevent it from being represented in the Knesset too. To be perfectly honest, I don't see any "practical" way (right at this moment) to establish a "national unity government" that would include Benjamin Netanyahu and Ishmail Haniyeh or Khaled Mashal.

      In any event, it would be pointless to form a joint list and then deliberately adopt a position that could be used to legally bar all of its candidates from running for public office. Israel denies Arab citizens the right to vote for lists of candidates that do not recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. For example, in 1965 the Central Election Commission (CEC) declared al-Ard “an unlawful association, because its promoters deny the [territorial] integrity of the state of Israel and its very existence”. The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court (Yardor v. CEC 1965 ) on the grounds that the CEC had no statutory authority under the law then in effect to do such a thing. Despite that fact, the Supreme Court upheld the CEC decision. See Yoav Peled, “Ethnic Democracy and the Legal Construction of Citizenship: Arab Citizens of the Jewish State, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 432-443 link to jstor.org

      See also: Liberman’s party calls to disqualify new united Arab faction link to timesofisrael.com

    • Of course. Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians are the same race. Color plays no role.

      Generations of Mizrahi Jews have spilled oceans of ink complaining about the fact that Ashkenazi Jews in Israel either discriminate against them or marginalize them socially, economically and politically on the basis of any ethnic characteristics they happen to share with their Arab neighbors, including the color of their skin. In any event, they (Mizrahi Jews and "Israeli Arabs") aren't treated equally under the law, since they are assigned to separate "nationalities" in the state population registry. Israel formally discriminates against its own citizens on the basis of their so-called nationality, not on the basis of their citizenship. FYI, that is considered a form of racial discrimination in accordance with the definition contained in Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination link to ohchr.org

    • Not only are you correct that Arab residents who live in the part of Jerusalem that was formerly controlled by Jordan from 1949-1967 can apply for and obtain Israeli citizenship (and there has been an uptick in the number of them that have done so in recent years) link to haaretz.com ... even if they don’t do so, they can still vote and run for city council in Jerusalem’s municipal elections. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      What a load of crap. Under international law, you can't ever annex a territory without automatically granting the inhabitants citizenship - period. One tenth of the illegal settlers in the West Bank have dual US-Israeli citizenship, just as a multitude of Jews in Israel proper hold more than one passport. There's no reason why the Jordanian or Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem should have been treated any differently. You are citing an article that says there are no official numbers for the alleged applicants for Israeli citizenship. It frankly admits that at least two-thirds of them are not approved, which undercuts your specious argument. Here's an article that does cite a number "Israel admits it revoked residency rights of a quarter million Palestinians" link to haaretz.com Naturally none of those unlawfully displaced persons are allowed to vote or run for municipal office.

    • It's nice to see that all of you (Mooser, Taxi, Just, Shingo, Donald, et al) have been "holding down the fort" while I was away. I've missed all of you too.

    • Netanyahu’s father said that his son would never implement or support a Palestinian state.

      Well, your first clue should have been that Netanyahu was the Chairman of a party with an official platform plank that said there couldn't be any Palestinian state between the river and the sea. Other Likud officials always ridiculed the idea that Netanyahu could remain their party boss and support a two state solution:

      Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon spoke at a Likud party meeting on Monday, wasting no time in voicing his support for a recent proposal to annex the Jordan Valley region, in eastern Samaria.

      "The Jordan Valley is a part of the state of Israel, and whoever thinks otherwise apparently is in the wrong party," he declared.

      -- Danon: 'Jordan Valley Annexation Part of Likud Party Platform' link to israelnationalnews.com

    • If you don’t understand, buy some rockets, give them to your enemy, and have him fire the rockets at your house for a few weeks.

      Or better still, get the US government to establish a $1 billion dollar stockpile of weapons in country for your use and help yourself to a couple of million rounds of 120mm mortar ammo each time you get a hair up your ass and decide to attack the entire population of the Gaza strip.

    • he’s just inviting people to say that the election of Hamas in Palestine was great because it showed the toxicity of Palestinian society.

      I fail to see your analogy. Netanyahu wasn't running for elected office in an interim governmental entity created in accordance with the terms of a formal agreement between the PLO and Israel. BTW, the State of Israel was created through acts of terror and apartheid, that included mortar attacks against defenseless Arab villages, dispossession and disenfranchisement of three quarters of a million inhabitants, and decades of martial law and persecution of the remaining Palestinian population. In other words, things have been rotten in Israel for a long, long time.

    • the so-called “Arab” list . . . if a party was going to allow themselves to be dubbed the “Arab” list then I say they shouldn’t complain"

      You are really only attacking your own straw man. The Joint List included the Jewish-Arab party Hadash which fielded a Jewish candidate, Dov Khenin.

    • Re: "the NYT news reports–Netanyahu is a pragmatist. The 2ss isn’t dead, because we can put our faith in the fact that Netanyahu is a cynical liar who will say anything to win an election."

      It's unsurprising. Other news outlets are not so enthusiastic about that prospect, e.g. AP ANALYSIS: Israel likely headed toward conflict, isolation link to washingtonpost.com

      The NY Times deflected attention away from the fact that Netanyahu's last coalition agreement required the government to adopt a racist Basic Law that would define "Israel as a nation state of Jewish people only" and the fact that he called for these early elections as a direct result of objections from Lapid and Livni over his attempts to fulfill the exact terms of that formal inter-party agreement.

      The only thing missing from everyone's analysis, so far, is the fact that Netanyahu has finally been given a clear mandate to pursue that agenda - and the fact that he can now form a new far-right coalition that will almost certainly insist upon the new government's adoption of a full slate of racist laws, including Netanyahu's proposed Basic Law constituting Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People.

  • Palestinian leaders vote to end security coordination with Israel, a cornerstone of Oslo and the occupation
    • Re: during the Oslo negotiations while Israel had a team of crackerjack lawyers present at all times, the Palestinians led by Arafat, Abbas, Shaath and others did not have a lawyer on their side of the table.

      That's not really the case and the agreement didn't alter the legal status of the territory or the population, which all 15 ICJ judges subsequently held was one of belligerent occupation governed by international law. The terms of the proposal had already been presented to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace process the year before and had been rejected after a review by Francis Boyle, who has earned PhDs in both international law and political science. link to globalpolicy.org

      But after the Gulf War, the Arab states were not funding Palestinian causes and the Israelis, backed by the USA, were in a position to make it a take it or leave it offer of limited autonomy. FYI, the era of maintaining an involuntary "autonomous region" was already long gone, by then. Even the EU's Badinter Commission's attempt to deny Kosovo's declaration of independence and return it to limited autonomy was subsequently ignored by the majority of the EU member states. Likewise Abba Eban had admitted in 1967 that Israel's prospects of creating a Palestinian state with limited autonomy in the West Bank or preventing it from joining the UN on the basis of sovereign equality were slim to none: link to history.state.gov

      Re: At one point they had a couple of great lawyers on the team, Diana Buto and Michael Tarazi.

      In 1993 the majority of Palestinians didn't even want a union or confederation with another Palestinian Arab state, Jordan. They were even more strongly opposed to proposals for a union with the Israelis.

      Buttu and Tarazi came on board in 2000, years after Oslo. They were great spokespersons and advocates, but neither was considered an experienced international lawyer or published scholar at the time. It didn't help that they were working for the self-declared Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and were recommending that their bosses abolish their day jobs. Both advocated a one state solution and a South African-style anti-apartheid, civil rights campaign at a time when the PLO and majority of Palestinians still wanted a state of their own and a Namibian-South African-style anti-Apartheid, anti-Occupation campaign. Even in 2011, the majority of Palestinians were still in favor of the UN membership bid and pursuing claims in the ICJ and ICC. The Namibian approach was the rationale employed by the Palestinian side during the 2003-2004 Wall case, where chapter 10 of their legal brief was devoted to the subject of Israeli crimes of apartheid. link to icj-cij.org Palestine was more than adequately represented in that case by James Crawford, who was still the Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. These days he is serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.

    • That’s somewhat playing on words since “to-be-negotiated” provisions at a future date aren’t really addressing key issues.

      No, it's false to say that the Oslo Accords didn't mention issues that the DOP explicitly required Israel to negotiate in order to implement 242 and 338, starting in the third year of an interim period that was "not to exceed five years".

      Part 2 of your comment says that the Vienna and Geneva Conventions do not allow any agreement contrary to the law and it has already been established that the settlements are illegal, so what’s there to discuss about these key isues?

      The Oslo Accords don't require Palestine to negotiate their legality, only their final status or disposition. Likewise, the law doesn't require the Arab or Jewish refugees to return to Israel or Palestine if they opt for resettlement elsewhere and compensation instead. What happens to their abandoned property if they decide to do that and how much each state would be required to pay are topics for negotiations or arbitration. Even the ICJ ordered Israel to pay compensation for damages in accordance with the law, but didn't establish any mechanisms or sums..

    • Really, Abbas? That’s why Israel is in breach of Oslo? Are you sure? It’s not also because they’re annexing land, expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, infringing on Area A under PA control? Continuing mass arrests, detainment and torture practices against men, women and children? I could go on and on but none of those are worthy reasons why Israel is in breach of the Oslo Accords.

      No, because the Oslo Accords are international agreements, not international laws.

      If you, the ICC Prosecutor, or anyone else would like to see the Government of Palestine's complaints about Israel's violations of international law, you only need to read the 535 letters on the subject written to the Security Council and the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly from 29 September 2000 ( A/55/432­5/2000/921) to 5 January 2015 (A/ES-10/670-5/2015/4) in the UNISPAL document collection. Here's the bottom line from the latest installment about crimes committed against children:

      The present letter is in follow-up to our 534 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 ( A/55/432­5/2000/921) to 5 January 2015 (A/ES-10/670-5/2015/4) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

      I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

      link to unispal.un.org

    • Harry that article conflates treaty accession to the Rome Statute or the filing of an article 12(3) treaty declaration with the filing of an actual criminal complaint by the competent legal authorities, including the Justice Minister of the State in question. Those are separate issues entirely.

      You should be aware that the Prosecutor doesn't have the sole discretion to decide "jurisdictional disputes" lodged under Article 119 of the Rome statute and that others agree that the question of retroactivity has not been settled yet. See for example, the exchange of comments between Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Judge Kai Ambos, and myself on that subject at link to ejiltalk.org

      PA Justice Minister Ali Kashan and Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki filed a "prospective" or general Article 12(3) treaty declaration with the ICC in January of 2009. That declaration also happened to be retroactive in effect to July of 2002. Maliki confirmed the validity of that declaration at the time. link to web.archive.org

      Subsequently, during the press conference on Palestine's treaty accession, the PA's UN ambassador explicitly stated that he had filed yet another retroactive 12(3) declaration signed by President Abbas and that Palestine was also "reserving its right of retroactivity" with respect to other crimes. See his full remarks @ link to youtu.be and that comment @ 7:06 of the video.

    • The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity.

      That's false. Article V of the Oslo Declaration of Principles, "Transitional period and permanent status negotiations" said in part:

      2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people's representatives.

      3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.

      4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by agreements reached for the interim period.

      -- link to news.bbc.co.uk

      FYI, those particular issues are already governed by jus cogens international law and any conflicting agreement reached by the parties to the contrary would tend to be rendered null and void in accordance with the customary rules of law reflected in Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Articles 6, 7, 8, and 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. For example, the ICJ performed a legal analysis of the Accords and declared that Israel had established the settlements in violation of its obligations under international law and that they were illegal.

    • Re: How’s the preparation of that file for the ICC coming along? Betcha they haven’t started working on it yet; too busy making threats and really really really spooking the Israelis with them.

      FYI:

      Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over ... Operation Protective Edge ..."

      -- Palestinians accuse Israel of war crimes at the Hague link to timesofisrael.com

      and this:

      "Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Al-Saqqa affirmed that the Palestinian complaint to the ICC against Israeli war crimes had not been withdrawn, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported on Saturday.

      Several sources reported on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas had withdrawn the complaint under international pressure.

      Al-Saqqa recognised that there is international and regional pressure on the PA to withdraw the complaint. He did not name any of the bodies exerting that pressure, but he affirmed that the complaint is still "active."

      He said that he is the only person "authorised" to deal with the complaint and he did not "withdraw" it. "I will not withdraw it," he stressed.

      The minister said that the PA had filed the complaint to the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda through the famous French lawyer Jill Denver.

      Al-Saqqa said that this is the best time to prosecute Israel over war crimes committed in Gaza. "If Israel was prosecuted after the Goldstone Report, it would not have had the courage to commit crimes again," he said. "

      -- link to middleeastmonitor.com

      The complaint charged Israel with war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the crime of apartheid. The retroactive Article 12(3) declaration of Palestine on 31 December 2014 gave that complaint full legal force and effect.

    • P.S. It might also be useful to point out that Palestine reserved its right with respect to retroactive acceptance of ICC jurisdiction in regard to other crimes when it filed its latest Article 12(3) declaration. Among other things, that means the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed during Operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, etc. remains an open question.

      The rationale employed by the Prosecutors when they decided not to initiate investigations of crimes committed since July 2002 was contrary to the practice of the General Assembly and the Secretary General. Palestine can, and should, ask the Court (rather than the Prosecutor) to settle any lingering dispute regarding the exercise of jurisdiction in accordance with Article 119 of the Rome Statute.

    • Re: The decision to end security coordination was made in a meeting of the West Bank’s highest lawmaking body, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Committee. Over the past decade this body of 124 representatives has de facto become the Palestinian legislative branch, as the official group is now defunct.

      Here's some background information that may clarify things a little : The PLO Central Committee (aka the Palestine National Council) is the UN-recognized "national liberation group" that declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in 1988 and assigned the PLO Executive Committee the role of Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, pending the end of the Israeli occupation and the attainment of independence. See the Political Communiqué of the Palestine National Council and Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988 link to unispal.un.org and the PNC Declaration on provisional Government - Letter from Palestine 16 November 1988 link to unispal.un.org

      The PLO itself has never been governed by the interim 2003 Palestinian Basic Law (which explicitly stated that the PLO remained the sole representative of the Palestinian people). There was never any intention on the part of the PLO of replacing itself with the interim municipal "Palestinian Council" (aka Palestinian Legislative Council) created by the Oslo Accords or the Basic Law. In fact, the Cairo Agreement between Hamas and Fatah on reconciliation called not only for municipal elections, but also for Hamas’ supreme leader, Khaled Mashaal, to assist Abbas in forming a committee that will prepare for elections of the "PLO’s parliament in exile", i.e. the PLO Central Committee - and for Hamas representatives to join that and the other PLO umbrella organs. See Cairo - Hamas Moves To Join PLO Umbrella link to vosizneias.com

      The same 5 March 2015 statement from the Palestinian Central Council mentioned in this Mondoweiss article calls on the PLO Executive to implement that reconciliation agreement and to take action in the ICC with regard to the crimes of settlement construction and murder of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by Israel. As Allison mentioned, it also contains an explicit ultimatum that says any further UN resolutions introduced in the Security Council "must include renewal of commitment to international decisions on the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as a time limit for ending the Israeli occupation and enabling the State of Palestine to exercise sovereignty on its 1967 territory including East Jerusalem, and solve the Palestinian refugee problem pursuant to Resolution 194. All this must take place in an international conference and the participation of member states, BRICS countries and Arab countries. " -- link to unispal.un.org

      That's not likely to happen, since Netanyahu has called the two-state solution "irrelevant" and the Obama administration is hinting that it wants to adopt "a new source of international authority ... for resolving the conflict that would not be based on Resolutions 242 and 338, on which talks have been based for the past 40 years. " See "Obama aims for another Mideast peace push by end of term, White House officials say" link to haaretz.com

      Frankly, there has never been any "international authority" for the US-monopoly on a "peace process" aimed at circumventing international law, and it's doubtful that it can obtain a resolution approving the continuation another apartheid scheme, while avoiding a veto from the other members of the P5 or a request for an advisory opinion on the questions of further colonialism and apartheid.

      Re: While the Palestinians did not set any specific terms for precisely how they will change their relationship with Israel, in the past leaders have hinted there are plans waiting in the drawer. A source in the Palestinian government told Mondoweiss that “before the decision was taken some governments contacted us to put pressure” on preventing the move, and indicated that the United States was one of those countries.

      It's pretty obvious that they intend to go around the Security Council to the ICJ, ICC, and an international peace conference, through an Emergency Session of the the General Assembly, in order to obtain another advisory opinion or consensus decision they can use with the ICC and other third-parties: "To hold Israel, the occupying power, responsible before the Palestinian people as a power occupying the State of Palestine pursuant to international law." link to unispal.un.org

      They should also ask if an application for membership in the UN is a procedural matter falling under the provisions of Article 27(2) of the UN Charter: "Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.", i.e. not subject to any veto. link to yale.edu

      Bear in mind that "security coordination" under the Oslo Accords ended in a dispute between Arafat and Netanyahu over the issue of statehood. That in-turn resulted in the Second Intifada and the construction of the illegal "Wall" and the related illegal administrative regime. Security coordination was only renewed under the auspices of the Quartet's "Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict". That proposal was adopted in the middle of the ICJ Wall case hearings - after the Court had already signaled its agreement to let Palestine participate on an equal basis with the other "interested states" in written and oral arguments. There was an obvious "quid pro quo" involved in the new Quartet plan that the Security Council, General Assembly, and the ICJ endorsed. The USA finally dropped its Regan era objections to the establishment of a separate Palestinian State (aka the "Regan Plan") and agreed that the Quartet members, including the UN Secretary General, would "promote recognition of the Palestinian State and possible UN membership", starting no later than June 2003. That recognition was supposed to be provided in exchange for "continued comprehensive security performance and effective security cooperation". link to 2001-2009.state.gov

      The Court noted the endorsement of the plan by the UN political organs and advised the General Assembly and Security Council that they urgently needed to implement that provision and remove any other impediments to the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination, i.e. statehood and participation in the UN as a full member. If we jump forward to 2009-2011, when the State of Palestine formally accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC and applied for membership in the UN, we can see that the Security Council, Secretary General, and the USA did nothing to promote recognition of the Palestinian state or live-up to the terms of their own Quartet agreement and UNSC resolution 1515. Nonetheless, they insisted that Hamas blindly accept its terms on the same basis as the PLO had.

  • Palestine Advocacy Project goes national
    • Re: I am surprised Annie that you don`t read the mood-map even in your own country.

      I'm surprised that you don't read the headlines in your own country's dailies about the strings attached to the Egyptian bailout by Saudi Arabia, i.e. : "Gaza and Cairo feel winds of change blowing from Saudi Arabia -- "Saudi Arabia’s recent moves reflect a change in its foreign policy. This could force Egypt’s president to change his stance against Hamas, and push the latter back to the Arab orbit. -- link to haaretz.com

      Likewise the Google News feed has several stories about calls for improved Hamas - Egyptian relations; the fact that the Arab League will not recognize the Egyptian court decision which labeled Hamas a terror organization; and calls for the Egyptian government to overturn the decision, i.e.: "Hamas' Haniyeh calls for better ties with Egyptian people" -- link to en.apa.az

      Re: Have you heard of PalAd yet?

      Yes. Have you heard about the Avaaz.org Petition demanding that the IRS stop tax subsidies for the Israeli settlements yet?, i.e. : link to secure.avaaz.org

      Dear friends across the US,

      It might be the worst tax break ever. Illegal Israeli 'settlements' or colonies on Palestinian land are driving mid-east conflict, have been judged a possible war crime by the UN, and are opposed by the US government. But over $200 million has been funneled from US donors to radical colonist groups - tax free!

      It’s shocking, and it’s illegal. These tax breaks clearly violate IRS rules -- but there hasn’t been an outcry to force the IRS to audit these pseudo-charities and cancel their tax breaks. We can change that.

      Tomorrow Israel’s hawkish right-wing Prime Minister will address Congress in Washington, and the media is focused on this issue. An outcry right now from thousands of us, on top of a complaint Avaaz is submitting to the IRS, could get covered in the media and be enough to get the IRS to act. Sign here:

      link to secure.avaaz.org

      Tax deductions are like indirect government financing - someone pays less taxes for donating money to a cause. That's why it's strictly reserved for real charities that are for the common good.

      The law is clear that these “charities” backing a long list of illegal and discriminatory practices against Palestinians don’t qualify, so the IRS should clearly revoke their charitable status. But some of these groups have high-level political connections, so it will take some pressure to get the IRS to act.

      Stopping these tax breaks wouldn’t affect donations to support legal and legitimate groups in Israel -- only donations headed to groups that are violating human rights and international law, literally building roadblocks to peace with every settlement they support. Sign now:

      link to secure.avaaz.org

      The US has for a long time been part of the problem, not part of the solution to Middle East peace. But the Avaaz community has campaigned for years for a more constructive US role, and under President Obama that role is shifting. This week, let's send another signal to the warmongers that, step by step, peace is coming.

      With hope and determination,

      John, Nick, David, Terra, Ricken, Rewan and the whole Avaaz team

      SOURCES

      Can I Take a Tax-Deduction on My Donation to Israeli Settlements in Palestine? (Foreign Policy)
      link to foreignpolicy.com

      Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank (New York Times)
      link to nytimes.com

      West Bank settlement expansion surged under Netanyahu (Haaretz)
      link to haaretz.com

      Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 10/1/2014 (White House)
      link to whitehouse.gov

  • Palestinians to take Israeli settlements to the ICC following announcement of 450 new units
    • Ocampo should apply to be Israels lawyer

      I assumed that he already had, when he visited Israel last year and said that it had little to fear from the ICC. link to haaretz.com

      By the time he left office, he was almost a pariah. There were calls to remove him from office over a sex scandal and his very dismal performance. link to worldaffairsjournal.org

      can also argue that the Oslo agreements exclude Israelis from Palestinian jurisdiction and as a consequence from the ICC’s authority”.

      Article 7 and 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibit an occupying power from concluding any special agreement that derogates from it's obligations under the Convention. The ICJ found that Israel had facilitated the establishment of the settlements and had transferred portions of its own civilian population into the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of its obligations under Article 49 of the Convention. The attempt to prolong that illegal situation and make the presence of Israeli civilians and settlements an issue for the (future) "permanent status negotiations" renders the Oslo DOP an example of a prohibited type of special agreement.

      Worse still, Article 8 of the Rome Statute and Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions say that the situation is a war crime. On a number of occasions, the Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber had to dismiss Ocompo's strange legal theories and remind him that:

      The interpretation of treaties, and the Rome Statute is no exception, is governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (23 May 1969), specifically the provisions of articles 31 and 32. The principal rule of interpretation is set out in article 31 (1) that reads: A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.

      -- see Prosecutor v. Lubanga Dyilo, Judgment on the Prosecutor’s Application for Extraordinary Review of the Pre-Trial Chamber Is 31 Mar. 2006 Decision Denying Leave to Appeal, ICC-01/04 168, 13 July 2006, paras. 33-42. link to icc-cpi.int

      The prohibition against genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity is considered a "jus cogens" norm of customary international law, from which no exceptions are permitted. That was the "raison d'être" cited in support of the establishment of all of these international criminal tribunals by the UN in the early 1990s. Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is titled: "TREATIES CONFLICTING WITH A PEREMPTORY NORM OF GENERAL INTERNATIONAL LAW ("JUS COGENS"). It says:

      A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.

      -- link to treaties.un.org

      FYI, in 1988, after the King of Jordan had dissolved the federal union between the East and West Banks, the Palestinian National Council appointed the PLO Executive Committee to the role of Provisional Government of the State of Palestine. Jordan, like all of the members of the Arab League recognized the newly emerged state. The General Assembly resolution that recently upgraded Palestine to a non-member observer state noted the role played by the PLO acting as the state's government since 1988. The 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO set out the terms for a jurisdictional division of labor between the State of Israel and a third, newly created, municipal-level governmental entity: "the Palestinian Council" aka the Palestinian Authority. The Accords did not specifically mention or limit the criminal jurisdiction retained by the PLO. FYI, every federal state-level government has the capacity to exercise universal jurisdiction in accordance with customary international law, regardless of the limited nature of the scope of jurisdiction exercised by its municipal or intermediate levels of government. The PLO signed a number of valid international agreements for the benefit of the PA during the interim period, e.g. link to consilium.europa.eu

      In any event, the text of the: 1993 "Oslo" Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements explicitly stated that it and the subsequent agreements were "for a transitional period not exceeding five years". link to news.bbc.co.uk

      A legal scholar, Errol Mendes, on sabbatical at the ICC wrote an advisory opinion for Ocampo which pointed out the Accords had legally lapsed, back when the Israelis first objected that Palestine was violating the agreements by involving the ICC:

      There is an element of irrationality for anyone to suggest that the Palestinian State can not even declare independence after the Oslo Accords expired on September 13, 2000 as it contained an obligation to refrain from doing anything to undermine the object and purpose of the Accords such as a unilateral declaration of independence. There is no international law authority supporting this position and if it was accurate, it would also call into question the legitimacy of Israel’s actions since the expiration of the Oslo Accords, given the illegal expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

      link to icc-cpi.int

      I would add that it is also somewhat schizophrenic to argue that the PLO Executive Committee, acting as the the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, still cannot make a valid treaty declaration or conclude a valid treaty accession with regard to the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute, the UN Charter, & etc., but that it somehow managed to do both of those things as part of the 1993 Oslo process with Israel. Frankly, if you accept the strange proposition advanced by the current Prosecutor that: the State of Palestine only came into existence on 29 November 2012 when it's status was upgraded from that of a mere "Entity", you'll have an insurmountable problem establishing the fact that it was ever a party to the Oslo Accords in the first place.

    • It gets even more depressing when you look at what happened to Lebanon’s attempt of trying to get on board.

      The United States did prevent Iraq from joining the ICC when it was literally occupying the country. But short of situations like that one, the USA really has no way to prevent other UN member states from joining the Court over its objections.

      There are undoubtedly other factors at play in the government of Lebanon's decision not to join the Court. In the case of Palestine, the US has continued, right up until the very last moment (and well beyond), to prevent Palestine from ever joining:

      When the European Union advanced sanctions against the settlements, Kerry tried to block them; when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the UN Security Council, Kerry pressured state leaders not to support the move. When the Palestinians turned to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Kerry made 50 phone calls, to the court's prosecutor and to foreign ministers across the globe, in an effort to block the move.

      link to haaretz.com

      See also "US says Palestinians ineligible to join ICC" link to timesofisrael.com That article and the others at EJIL and Just Security indicate to me that there is an orchestrated effort to declare the Palestinian accession null and void.

      I'm not so concerned with the poor performance during the early years of the Court. The member states can always clean house and appoint new judges and prosecutors. Governments loath doing that sort of thing, unless there is a public outcry. The UN and regional groups of states have continued to create and operate many other competing criminal tribunals around the globe. It's pretty amazing that 121 states, representing a majority of the international community, have joined the ICC and are continuing to amend the Rome Statute, the professional code of conduct, and the rules of evidence and procedure in order to address some of their known shortcomings. Nobody ever thought that a sufficient number of states would ratify the Statute in such a short amount of time in the first place. It entered into force with only 60 members, i.e. for years the majority of states remained non-members for which the Court's existence was meaningless and didn't create any rights or obligations. The Drafters were worried about judicial and prosecutorial activism and made it difficult to trigger the Court's jurisdiction. They envisioned state referrals, but did not foresee that most of them would be self-referrals. The subject simply never came up during the Rome Conference. The Statute envisioned a Court of last resort that would only compliment efforts by the members themselves to prosecute cases in their own Courts. Frankly, the big story ought to be the successful efforts of the US and Israel's allies to prevent any state from prosecuting an Israeli for any kind of war crime or crime against humanity since 1948. After all, more than 160 countries have laws on the books that grant their own national courts the necessary universal jurisdiction to do that very thing and there have been no shortage of accusations. At least in theory, the number of cases in which there would even be a need for the ICC to intervene ought to be vanishingly small.

    • god how depressing. i will check out all your suggested links. it’s like a brick wall for palestine and the implications are dire, for not just palestine.

      You're not even going to get good news coverage at those sites. For example, the Government of Comoros has some new lawyers and has filed an appeal concerning the Prosecutor's decision not to proceed with an investigation of the Flotilla Massacre case. link to justicehub.org

      Other than getting the Prosecutors off their duffs going forward, the biggest issue or hurdle is likely to be the question of retroactive jurisdiction. Some experts, like Judge Kai Ambos are simply against it and think that the question was settled months ago by the decision announced by the Office of the Prosecutor. Other experts, like Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, IDC Herzliya don't think so, but appear to oppose the idea nonetheless. See the article and comments on "Double Duty at the ICC" link to ejiltalk.org

      I think the case for retroactivity with regard to crimes committed in Operation Protective Edge and Operation Pillar of Defense is almost insurmountable on the basis of the vote to admit Palestine as a contracting state party to the UNESCO Constitution aka "full membership". I think a very good case can also be made for retroactivity with regard to crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead too, based upon the relevant General Assembly resolutions on the particular subject, read in light of: customary law; General Assembly resolutions on the rules that international organizations, like the ICC, should apply to govern their relations with Palestine; the text of resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012; and the Secretary General's March 2013 follow-up report on the "Status of Palestine in the United Nations". Unfortunately, a discussion of that material is way too long for the comments section.

      I pointed out to both Ambos and Richemond-Barak that, during the UN press conference on the accession document, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN said they had filed another 12(3) declaration the day before the accession was filed. He said that Palestine had requested retroactivity with regard to jurisdiction over crimes committed during the last war in Gaza and was reserving its right to retroactivity with regard to other crimes too. He made those remarks @7m:06s. The full press conference is here: link to youtu.be

      Many commentators on "The Summary of Practice" of the Secretary General make it appear that he had to wait, after the UNESCO vote, until he had received an accession request from the State of Palestine before he could consult the practice of the General Assembly. But that was not the case. The paragraph on treaties open for signature under the "all states" formula says explicitly that there is never any need to consult the practice of the General Assembly in the case of a member of one of the UN specialized agencies. In part, that's because the Secretary General has had standing instructions from the General Assembly ever since 1949 to dispatch an invitation on his own initiative to new members of the UN specialized agencies requesting that they become state parties to the UN Convention on the Crime of Genocide. See A/RES/368 (IV) 3 December 1949, "Invitations to be addressed to non-member States to become parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" link to refworld.org

      Note: The ICC exercises jurisdiction over natural persons concerning the crime of genocide, but the ICJ has jurisdiction for determinations regarding state responsibility. Article 119 of the Rome Statute mentions the fact that disputes over ICC jurisdiction will be decided by the Court, but indicates that disputes between states may have to be settled by the ICJ. Unlike the ICC, declarations accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ are always considered retroactive by default, unless there is an explicit reservation to the contrary. The General Assembly resolution on the current status of Palestine acknowledged its 1988 unilateral declaration of independence and the role of the PLO Executive Committee acting as the "Provisional Government of the State of Palestine" ever since that date. The Secretary General's follow-up report noted that the State of Palestine (not the PA) already existed and had filed an application for UN membership (a multilateral treaty) in September of 2011. So it's hard to find very much support in the practice of the UN for the Prosecutors claim that Palestine wasn't a state until December of 2012.

      FYI, in the aftermath of the UNESCO vote and the announced pull-out of funding by Israel and the United States, the Secretary General seems to have forgotten A/RES/368 (IV) when he said that the Palestinians bid to join UN and its agencies by becoming a state party to its treaties and conventions "is not beneficial for anybody". link to huffingtonpost.com

      Here are some links to the articles at Just Security which were mentioned in the Jerusalem Post article and the articles written in response at Opinio Juris:
      Luis Moreno Ocampo
      link to justsecurity.org

      Alan Dershowitz
      link to justsecurity.org

      David Lubin:
      link to justsecurity.org

      Robert Howse
      link to justsecurity.org
      link to justsecurity.org

      Yousef N. Zeidan
      link to justsecurity.org

      Jonathan Somer
      link to justsecurity.org

      Nimrod Karin
      link to justsecurity.org
      link to justsecurity.org
      Letter to Editor
      link to justsecurity.org

      Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
      link to justsecurity.org
      link to justsecurity.org

      Beth Van Schaack
      link to justsecurity.org

    • Much of the most valuable information about the I/P conflict is buried in random and disorganized comments — difficult to retrieve and connect.

      While I do pride myself on being well read, the information contained in my comments here and elsewhere comes from official documentary records or well known published sources on the subjects of history, international law, or political science. I don't think of comments made at the European Journal of International Law (EJIL Talk!) website or Opinio Juris as being buried or out of sight.

      I've noted in the past that the "Daily News and Analysis" email from the PLO Delegation to the USA routinely calls attention to articles at Mondoweiss. Some of those started out as comments that Phil or Adam decided to publish as standalone articles. Similarly, the former Deputy Legal Advisor to the Israeli UN Delegation complained that the Palestinians seem to be getting tips and useful lines of argumentation from articles at Opinio Juris and elsewhere in the legal blogosphere. The Jerusalem Post highlighted the explosion of articles and comments since Palestine joined the ICC. See "Legal blogosphere erupts over ICC’s inquiry into Gaza war - Arab-Israeli Conflict" link to jpost.com

    • the current Prosecutor will continue to make excuses and do little or nothing at all about the situation.

      hostage, Bensouda ?

      Yes, she was the Deputy Prosecutor during the first 12 years of the Court's operation. In other situations, she has issued warnings to perpetrators in press releases on the basis of news reports about possible crimes, e.g. See "Statement by ICC Prosecutor concerning Mali" link to icc-cpi.int

      In the case of Palestine, she and her predecessor have remained conspicuously silent about hundreds of reliable reports of crimes and threats. In doing so, the ICC has implicitly given the government of Israel a green light to go on threatening Palestinians with reprisals for merely joining the Court, including acts that are obliviously intended to persecute officials and potential witnesses with the aim of obstructing the administration of justice.

      Several months ago, a former member of the staff of the Office of the Prosecutor spilled the beans to the press and explained that the Prosecutors were trying to "hide behind legal jargon to disguise what is a political decision, to rule out competence and not get involved." See Hague court under western pressure not to open Gaza war crimes inquiry link to theguardian.com

      That's actually grounds for removal from office under the terms of the Statute and the Court's Rules of Evidence and Procedure. So naturally, Bensouda wrote a blustery denial. See Fatou Bensouda: the truth about the ICC and Gaza link to theguardian.com

      It continued to employ the same meaningless jargon and even more misstatements of fact concerning (1) the actual content of the UN summary of practice with respect to accessions by members of specialized agencies for treaties that utilize the "all states" formula; and (2) the content of General Assembly resolutions on the subject of Palestinian statehood.

      In that article and in others on the ICC web site the Prosecutors claim that their office spent three years listening to "all the arguments" about Palestinian statehood during an initial evaluation of the 2009 Palestinian Article 12(3) declaration. Oddly enough, they never requested a determination from either the General Assembly, the Secretary General. or their own ICC Assembly of State Parties on the subject. That's especially puzzling, since the ICC's "Preliminary Examinations" web page now says that the Office of the Prosecutor "may seek additional information from States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental and non‐governmental organizations and other reliable sources that are deemed appropriate."

      the former prosecutor should be put out to pasture!

      The same thing applies to the current one. She's almost spent as much time performing a completely non-committal initial evaluation of the situation in Palestine as some students spend obtaining their law degree. She's been "evaluating" the situation in Afghanistan for more than a decade now, while ignoring the publication of Bush's autobiography, the Senate torture report, and the published memoirs of one of the prisoners being illegally detained in Gitmo on the subject of illegal transfer/deportation of hundreds of civilians out of an occupied territory and their torture in US facilities in Afghanistan, Cuba, and elsewhere .

    • Hi to all! I haven't been completely "off the grid". I've been commenting quite extensively of late on articles about this subject at EJIL and Opinio Juris. e.g.:
      link to opiniojuris.org
      link to opiniojuris.org
      link to ejiltalk.org

      For those who are interested, here's one where "shmuel" also participated and took on a tag team of settlers: link to opiniojuris.org

      I've also been busy gathering material about the many discrepancies contained in the legal analysis presented to date by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) with respect to the ICCs so-called inability to exercise jurisdiction over crimes commited in Palestine since July of 2002. Back in September, I told Phil that the only article I'd be interested in writing would call attention to the efforts by the ICC Prosecutors to make the pursuit of justice for Palestinian victims of Israeli operations prior to 29 November 2012 as difficult as possible. Nowadays I'd also like to write a rebuttal to the unhistorical claims, like the ones made in a series of articles and letters to the editor of "Just Security", raising legal objections to the Secretary General's acceptance of Palestine's accesion to the Rome Statute. The authors there have suggested the decision can be disputed and reversed under the provisions of Article 119, because the Secretary General was acting beyond his powers.

      It's simply ludicrous that the former Prosecutor is now writing editorials there too about the "disputed status" of the Palestinian territories after spending 3 years on an earlier "preliminary evaluation" of hundreds of communications, including the Goldstone report. Most, if not all of them cited the ICJ findings of fact to the contrary, i.e. the territory was under belligerent occupation; the Geneva Conventions and UN Human Rights Conventions apply; the settlements are illegal; and among other things, the Palestinians have also been displaced by the illegal construction of the wall and the associated administrative regime in violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

      There are a number of other bizarre theories being advanced that rely on a sophomoric, almost Peabody and Sherman-like treatment of the actual historical record and the applicable rules of the UN and state practice. From all the indications, the current Prosecutor will continue to make excuses and do little or nothing at all about the situation.

    • Re: He must have known the Israelis would attack him, far better to stand your ground and fight on principles. Why hasn’t he done that?

      The international legal community had already weighed-in and suggested he should recuse himself after the Youtube video emerged in which he said Netanyahu would be his favourite to be in the dock of the ICC. See for example the EJIL Talk! editorial link to ejiltalk.org

      The latest kerfluffle is about the fact that Schabas was also paid $1300 by the PLO for an advisory opinion he wrote for them regarding the ICC. He said that he couldn't continue to serve under a cloud when the Chairman of the Human Rights body that appointed him has asked for a legal opinion to see if his removal from the mission over a conflict of interest is mandatory or not:

      The Commission of Inquiry is at a decisive stage in its work. It has largely completed the task of gathering material and listening to victims and other witnesses, including experts. The work on the drafting of the report is beginning. I believe that it is difficult for the work to continue while a procedure is underway to consider whether the Chair of the Commission should be removed. Normally, a judicial or quasi-judicial body would resolve such a challenge before proceeding further.
      Yet the Commission cannot delay its work as it must produce its report in a matter of weeks. Under the circumstances, and with great regret, I believe the important work of the Commission is best served if I resign with immediate effect.

      link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • That’s standard Israeli Zionist discourse and has been for over a century.

      Just to keep the record straight: The 1950 "Entente" agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion still reflects the thinking of most American Jews. It stipulated that Jews living in the USA are not "exiles" and that the government of Israel does not represent us in any way.

    • @Hostage, if indeed you have combat experience, and you believe that Israel is targeting civilians or is reckless, then you have to explain how thee are so few civilian casualties per strike.

      No I don't. It doesn't matter how many so-called "legitimate strikes" the IDF conducts, if it is also routinely attacking civilian targets, family dwelling places, hospitals, schools, emergency shelters, and infrastructure essential to the survival of the civilian population.

      As an airforce person, can you explain how it is that only about a thousand civilians have died in Gaza? What was the proportion in Falujja? In Syria?

      You're citing three situations that should result in war crimes trials. FYI, one of the reasons that the ICC was established is that a person stands a better chance of being prosecuted for murdering one person than for murdering 100,000 persons. When you talk about "only a thousand civilians" dying as a result of Israel's rampage through occupied Palestine over three of its missing teenagers, you simply illustrate that point.

    • There is another way of looking at this, which is that the UN keeps trying to push an inappropriate frame onto the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

      It's pretty obvious that you are projecting and doing a much worse job of pushing "an inappropriate frame" than the UN.

    • my point is whether Hostage is a military expert so that he can back his allegation of using 120mm mortar.

      It's not an allegation. Obama and Kerry found out that the Pentagon had approved the release of 120mm mortar and 40mm grenade ammo, when CNN reported it to everyone else. CNN said that Israel had run short during the third week of the war and requested it be issued from prepositioned US stockpiles in Israel. The State Department and White House spokespersons explained that those are not weapons with pinpoint accuracy or surgical precision and that the US had implemented review procedures that would require a cabinet-level okay in the future, due to concerns over the excess of civilian collateral casualties. The story has also been covered by Haaretz, the WSJ, and Mondoweiss.

    • Hostage, regarding your argument on 120mm mortars – how many years have you served in infantry? Oh, I forgot, you were a hostage!

      I spent about 9 years in Air Force Special Tactics units and worked directly with the US Army special forces, infantry, and cavalry units during much of that time. FYI, the infantry isn't the only user of these mortar tubes or grenade launchers. Even the USAF has toyed around with the idea of using 120mm smooth bore ammo and launchers on the AC-130 gunships, instead of the existing 105mm weapon systems.

    • We must be really really bad at getting our job done.

      That's the only intelligent thing he had to say on the subject.

      However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses.

      The first thing the Zionists needed from the US stockpiles was ammunition for 120mm mortars and grenade launchers. You don't use those to minimize casualties. When you flatten 10,000 homes with airstrikes or tank shells you need to shut-up about minimizing casualties altogether, unless you want to sound clueless.

  • Man who saved Jewish boy in Holocaust acts to save Israel from 'racist... quagmire'
    • So the Arab Higher Committee asked 8 Arab States to send their armies into ALL OF PALESTINE, including those portions of Palestine allocated by the UN for a Jewish State.
      Okay!!

      I think you are having trouble distinguishing between a war and deliberate massacres and ethnic cleansing that we are discussing. The latter are war crimes and crimes against humanity that violate the laws and customs of war. In particular, "forced eviction by military attack or occupation [ethnic cleansing] and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid or genocide" are crimes for which no statutory limitations apply. -- See Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

      You asked about the presence of the Arab Legion in Ramle and Lydda. Transjordan agreed to the conditions laid down by the Mandatory administration that the British-supplied and led Arab Legion would not step foot on any territory allocated to the Jewish state and that it assured the UN that it would not mistreat Jewish non-combatants.

      FYI, we know that neither the overall Plan, Dalet, nor the fragmentary orders for operations, like Dani, were defensive in nature. They called for unprovoked attacks on bases inside the Arab state and on areas where there was an Arab majority population in the Jewish state. We also know that the Jewish Agency intended to maintain, resupply, and reinforce their watchtower and stockade military outposts inside the Arab state. Those settlements had been established in the first place along so-called "confrontation lines" and were intended to lay down the de facto borders of a future Jewish state, well beyond those contained in any partition proposal. The Zionist Plan Dalet was being developed and executed in March and April of 1948, long before any Arab States entered Palestine. Likewise, the hundreds of thousands of refugees were driven into exile before the State of Israel was announced on 14 May. So, the answers provided by the Jewish Agency and Vaad Leumi to excuse their massacres and ethnic cleansing operations were disingenuous:

      Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control?

      Answer to Question A: At present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.

      Question (b): Do you have armed forces operating in areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Arabs are the majority, or outside Palestine?

      Answer to Question (b): We consider the territory of Israel as a single unit with a Jewish majority. As indicated above, the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel; parts which, with the notable exception of Jerusalem, formerly for the most part, contained Arab majorities. These areas have, however, been mostly abandoned by their Arab population. No area outside of Palestine is under Jewish occupation but sallies beyond the frontiers of the State of Israel have occasionally been carried out by Jewish forces for imperative military reasons, and as a part of an essentially defensive plan.

      Question (c) If so, on what basis do you attempt to justify such operations?

      Answer to Question (c): The above operations in areas outside the State of Israel are justified on the following grounds:

      1. In order to repel aggression, and as part of our essentially defensive plan, to prevent these areas being used as bases for attacks against the State of Israel.

      2. In order to protect Jewish population, traffic and economic life, including the protection of those Jewish settlements outside the area of the State where, owing to the absence of any duly constituted authority and the failure to implement the guarantees and safeguards provided for under the General Assembly Plan, life and property are in imminent danger. Similar considerations apply in the absence of any international statute for the City of Jerusalem to the Jewish area of the City.

      -- link to unispal.un.org

      Here’s another Arab eyewitness who fails to recollect atrocities on the ‘death march’.

      I don't see how there can be "another Arab eyewitness", since you completely misrepresented what the last author and Palestinian eyewitness had to say on the subject. That author specifically cited the policy of massacres and ethnic cleansing and called it a death march. The Palestinian eyewitness reported that people died of thirst along the way. In this video the narrator also calls it a death march and relates that about 350 people died. She also says that the people in the Mosque had surrendered and were massacred when they were no longer taking an active part in the hostilities. The Palestinian eyewitness relates that Jewish soldiers forcibly evacuated people from their homes and threatened to shoot anyone who didn't cooperate. He said that his father was killed on his way home and that he himself nearly died of thirst and talks about Jewish soldiers plundering jewelry and property from the Arabs. Once again, systematically forcing the population from their homes and compelling them to march out of the region without the necessities of life is a crime against humanity at the very least. When persons of an identifiable ethnic group, who are hors de combat, are systematically robbed, killed in mass, and 350 additional people die of thirst or exhaustion as a result of a forced eviction, that constitutes the actus reus and mens rea of the crime of genocide according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence employed by the International Criminal Court. "Elements of Crimes", "Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction" (either in whole or in part) explains that:

      The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.

      See page 9 footnote 4 link to icc-cpi.int

      For the second time, you are engaging in full blown Nakba denial by claiming that these clear references to well-defined crimes and atrocities don't exist.

    • @Hostage
      Funny. Here’s an eyewitness Arab narrative that makes no mention of atrocities during the ‘death march’.

      link to books.google.com

      Where is your eyewitness, Arab narrative that details these alleged atrocities during the ‘death march’?

      The author of the account you cited called it a "death march" and said that "massacres" were used to drive the Palestinians from their lands through "ethnic cleaning". The Palestinian eyewitness said that there was no water and that people began to die of thirst. FYI using "massacres", "ethnic cleansing" and starvation or deprivation of the necessities of life as a method of warfare are all considered atrocities and crimes against humanity. You are in full Nakba denial mode. The "Palestine Remembered" website cites a number of sources and says that about 350 people died from lack of water and exhaustion.

      “There was no “military necessity” for the Jewish militias to be in Ramle of Lydda during the transition period, since they were allocated to the Arab state”

      Okay…so what’s your explanation for the presence of Transjordanian Arab Legion’s in Lydda? Lydda was allocated to the Arab State, not TransJordan.

      When Transjordan declared its independence and tried to join the UN in 1946, the Jewish Agency said it was an indivisible part of the Mandate. The President of the Security Council cited the fact that it was still part of the Palestine Mandate, that had not been legally terminated in his opinion. He said that as far as he was concerned, no action would be taken on its application for membership until the United Nations addressed the "question of Palestine as a whole".

      The Arab Higher Committee of Palestine asked the King of Transjordan to deploy the Arab Legion in the area allocated to the Arab state. See UN Document S/775, 24 May 1948: link to unispal.un.org

      John Baggot Glubb, the commander of the Arab Legion, wrote in "A Soldier with the Arabs that British Foreign Secretary Bevin had given the green light for the Arab Legion to occupy the territory allocated to the Arab state after the Prime Minister of Transjordan explained to him that King Abdullah had received hundreds of petitions from Palestinian notables requesting protection upon the withdrawal of the British forces. Eugene Rogan says that those petitions, from nearly every town and village in Palestine, are preserved in the state archives and were published in "The Hashemite Documents: The Papers of Abdullah bin al-Husayn, volume V: Palestine 1948 (Amman 1995)". see Chapter 5, Jordan and 1948, in "The war for Palestine: rewriting the history of 1948", By Eugene L. Rogan, and Avi Shlaim, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

      FYI, the UN resolution required the Mandatory to progressively turn over territory to the Jewish and Arab authorities when it withdrew its own armed forces. The Arab Legion had permanent garrisons in Rafah and Gaza City for more than a decade and had been an integral part of the British Mandatory administration's border and police forces.

      King Abdullah notified the UN Secretary General that he was "compelled to enter Palestine to protect unarmed Arabs against massacres similar to those of Deir Yasin."
      -- link to unispal.un.org

  • Israel got tank shell that killed 20 at UN school from US without Obama's approval -- WSJ bombshell
    • Art. 27. In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.

      Article 27 of the Hague convention ceased to be a license to invade neighboring states when the prohibition against the threat of use of force against the political independence and territorial integrity of any state was included in both the UN Charter and UN General Assembly resolution 181(II). There was no "military necessity" for the Jewish militias to be in Ramle of Lydda during the transition period, since they were allocated to the Arab state, and the militias were under strict orders to avoid border clashes, let alone invasions or occupations.

      You discount the three eyewitness (Jewish) testimonies that clearly suggest that the small mosque was being used for military purpose, in favor of the second hand Arab testimony which says that the Arab grenadier ran into the small mosque, which, necessarily, begs the question, did the grenadier run into the small mosque from the mosque’s roof or courtyard?

      No, there are first hand Palestinian and Jewish accounts about the deaths and atrocities that happened during the forced march.

      I simply accept the first hand video taped testimony of the Palmach perpetrator who confessed to massacring the people in the mosque and on the forced march. So far you've suggested everything, except that the Jewish militias "got lost" and accidentally ended up conducting operations that constituted the crime of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity inside the territory allocated to the Arab state by the UN.

    • Will the Obama administration ever go public with this estimation of what Israel is, “reckless and untrustworthy”? We can just hope.

      Netanyahu better hope that the administration doesn't. The mens rea for unlawful attacks which cause disproportionate civilian casualties or civilian property damage is intention or "recklessness", not mere negligence. If the US is delaying or withholding arms shipments because civilian casualty rates have been excessive, and they deem their use in the IDF Gaza op as reckless, then how could the officials involved object to criminal prosecutions?

  • Goldstone sequel to be co-authored by Amal Alamuddin, Clooney's fiancee
    • So the only common knowledge is that you have nothing.

      I think its common knowledge that, when the Zionists want to score a propaganda or tactical victory badly enough, they will not hesitate to support and employ Palestinian opposition groups to do their dirty work or use IDF mista'arvim to conduct black flag operations, while pretending to be local Arabs. After all, it was Israel that helped establish Hamas for its use as a foil against the aims of the PLO.

    • I was “challenged” to provide evidence, from non-Israeli sources , that Hamas abuses hospitals . I did so, with segments from Finnish tv and France 24 available on Youtube.

      @ Jon S, the fact is that neither of the well known videos actually showed the perpetrators or positively identified them as members of Hamas, much less established that anyone was targeting Israel. The Goldstone report noted that mortars and rockets had been used in skirmishes with IDF forces deployed in and around Gaza. The IDF has routinely employed its "human shield" propaganda talking point, but it has never produced a shred of evidence to suggest that Palestinian armed groups either directed civilians to areas where attacks were being launched or that they forced civilians to remain within the vicinity of the attacks.

      The videos also failed to show that the hospitals themselves had been converted for military use or had been employed to commit any acts harmful to the enemy. If Israel issued a warning and attacked or destroyed a civilian hospital on the basis of these videos, then the individuals responsible committed a war crime. Article 19 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does not allow the immunity bestowed on civilian hospitals to be taken away because acts harmful to the enemy are committed "nearby". FYI, the UN Secretary General has pointed out the same thing in the case of IDF attacks on the UN schools that were used as shelters and has demanded that the Israelis responsible be brought to justice.

      So your videos have no usefulness as "evidence" in that connection. The bottom line is that, even when we consider the best Israeli legal arguments, nothing offered as evidence would justify turning a hospital into a military objective or support a claim that the patients and hospital staff were being used as human shields.

      See the articles and discussions @ Guest Post: Israel’s Use of Law and Warnings in Gaza link to opiniojuris.org and Guest Post: The Use of Human Shields and International Criminal Law link to opiniojuris.org

    • Actually the source doesnt say that, this is not something the council is voting about.

      The 47 member council adopted a mandate for a commission of inquiry at its last meeting and asked the HRC's President to appoint the members in accordance with HRC resolution S-21/1.

  • A Palestinian defends violent resistance to occupation
    • “Hasbara” defined as “any argument which presents Hamas as anything less than saints, while failing to equate the IDF with the Wehrmacht.”

      No, it means discredited material so old that it has been employed as a canned response for many years by the Zionist echo chamber in fellowship talking points, Megaphone desktop alerts, RSS feeds, and shit that Spam Assassin puts in everyone else's junk folder.

    • I assumed the people who populate this site could actually hold a real debate instead of using a generic straw man tactic to insinuate I’m paid by the Zionists to be here.

      I really don't care whether your motive for rehashing old international hasbara fellowship talking points is love, money, or both. Either way you're just another obnoxious dimwit.

    • So we have some people here saying that being occupied gives Hamas a right to violently resist. What these people seemingly ignore is that Gaza hasn’t been occupied since 2005.

      Correction: I cited UN General Assembly resolutions which affirmed the use of armed struggle as a legitimate remedy for a number of illegal situations, including foreign occupation:

      Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle

      Gaza has been under a regime of naval blockade and closure of the land border crossings that has never been authorized or sanctioned by the UN Security Council. FYI, military occupation, blockade, and annexation of territory in violation of the UN Charter or UN resolutions are constituent acts of the Crime of Aggression under customary and conventional international law.

      I was expecting better. I already made Ray Hanania and a few others look like a fool on his own Google+ page.

      Some of us have busy schedules and don't have time to respond to shopworn propaganda talking points.

    • The rockets have chiefly military targets?

      I don’t think even the anti-Israel movement believes that one.

      I've never seen any statistical evidence presented to the contrary. FYI, Hamas provided two written follow up reports to the Goldstone findings which claimed that it mainly targets the Israeli military: 1) titled "Status of the implementation of the recommendations of the International Fact-Finding Mission Report on the Israeli aggression on Gaza 12/2008-1/2009", submitted on 2 February 2010, and 2) titled "Report on the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the situation in Gaza", submitted on 28 July 2010.

      While they were largely panned by the UN HRC panel of experts, any dispute over a material fact has to be decided by the trier of fact, based upon the actual evidence.

      In any event Mohammed Faraj al-Ghul, the Justice Minister in the Hamas administration of the Gaza Strip indicated that the regime was prepared to defend its leaders in Court and asked the UN to refer the matter to the ICC saying:

      “We ask the United Nations to transfer the matter [the Goldstone report findings] to the ICC so that the Zionist war criminals can be brought to justice”.

      –-See Al Arabiya News/GAZA CITY (Agencies): “Hamas want ICC to judge ‘Zionist war criminals”, Saturday, 06 February 2010 link to alarabiya.net

    • Resistance in which one targets civilians (or indiscriminately fires not knowing who is going to get killed) is morally wrong, and against international law.

      The position taken by the Goldstone report was that mortars and rockets can't be accurately aimed and are therefore a weapon of terror when employed by Hamas. The Prosecutor would nonetheless have to prove that on a case by case basis. For example, the very first thing Israel requested from US war reserves was 120mm mortar ammo and grenades that are not inherently safer or more accurate than similar weapons employed by Hamas.

    • The moment was interesting because while the talk’s sponsor, Jewish Voice for Peace, had expressly stated at the start that it supports nonviolent resistance to occupation, Shurrab’s defense of violent resistance plainly struck a chord in the crowd of 100 (most of whom, or of the ones I knew, were Jewish).

      It should go without saying that the JVP Mission Statement embraces all of the rights prescribed by international law, including armed struggle:

      Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.

      -- link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org

      For example, General Assembly resolution 33/24, 29 November 1978 and others including 37/43, 3 December 1982 recognized the legitimacy of that right:

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

      3. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Namibian people, the Palestinian people and all peoples under foreign and colonial domination to self-determination, national independence, territorial integrity, national unity and sovereignty without outside interference;

      -- link to un.org

  • The withdrawal that isn't
    • The Israeli line is that they were going after two guys on a motorbike that happened to be passing in front of the UN school.

      Yeah right, because the military necessity of taking out two guys on a motorcycle was "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation."

    • AP The Big Story: UN chief: Attack at school in Gaza 'criminal act'

      NEW YORK (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says an attack that killed 10 people at a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip is a "moral outrage and a criminal act."

      Ban says the attack Sunday "is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, U.N. staff and U.N. premises, among other civilian facilities."

      In a statement, the U.N. chief said the attack "must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act."

      link to bigstory.ap.org

    • It's not a withdrawal, its another Golan Heights-style annexation:

      Israeli forces that remain in Gaza are working on destroying one more tunnel near Rafah. Other units are operating in Beit Hanun. The IDF has decided to keep some forces within Gaza to protect Israeli communities near the border.

      A senior officer said on Sunday morning that a security zone within the enclave "should be maintained for defense purposes, and we are prepared to attack as well."

      -- link to haaretz.com

  • Inhuman shield: How 'The New York Times' protects US elites from Gaza's brutal reality
    • Urban Dictionary Human Shield: role played by US representative to the UN Security Council during debates about the adoption of sanctions against Israel.

  • US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians -- why not Israel?
    • It’s just different when it comes to Israel.

      No, the only exception to the Secretary of State's duty under "22 U.S. Code § 2378d - Limitation on assistance to security forces" is:

      The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations that the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.

      -- link to law.cornell.edu

      There's no stipulation that says the security force has to be violating the human rights of its own citizens. The same obligations apply to the Secretary of Defense under Section 8507 of the 2014 Omnibus bill link to beta.congress.gov

    • We know the answer. In the minds of leaders and other power brokers in the U.S. “slaughtered civilians” are not equal. Selective application of moral standards applied unfairly.

      Well her response was utter bullshit. “22 USC § 2378d – Limitation on assistance to security forces” says:

      No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter or the Arms Export Control Act [22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.] to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.

      Whether you are targeting your own citizens or not has nothing to do with it. It's a damn disgrace that the official State Department spokesperson misstated the applicable law on the subject of her own Department's legal duty so badly and deliberately. This situation demands some follow-up from the press corps.

  • The experts’ verdict: Every Israeli missile strike is a war crime
    • Warcrimes? This is crimes against humanity.

      The two are not mutually exclusive. War Crimes charges can only be leveled in connection with an armed conflict. Charges of crimes against humanity can be leveled even in peace time when there is no shooting going on at all. For example, the UN Apartheid Convention established that the crime of apartheid could be a crime against humanity. The 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 1977 established that it could be a war crime committed by an occupying power.

    • “So when are going to hear HRW or the United Nation’s Navi Pillay stop talking about proportionality or Israel’s potential war crimes, and admit Israel is committing war crimes by definition – right now, as you read this.”

      Navi Pillay is probably not a good example, since she has cited the use of flechette and phosphorus shells during the Gaza offensives and incitement against Palestinians by Israeli officials in the social media and said "Every one of these incidents must be properly and independently investigated" link to rt.com

  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • (can someone please tell Israel that one does not kidnap an enemy soldier– it’s called a capture!)

      No can do. That would raise the issue of the de jure applicability of the 3rd Geneva Convention on POWs to both sides. Regev would crawl through broken glass naked to distract attention away from the burning issue of Palestinian POWs. International Humanitarian Law doesn't allow governments to hold POWs hostage for use as bargaining chips to leverage the growth of their illegal colonies in occupied territory. As I recall, that's exactly how this current war was instigated.

    • I was beyond shocked when I heard on the news that the US is re-supplying Israel with weapons.

      Bear in mind that the 9th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly stated that Israel was guilty of the crime of aggression; condemned the use of the veto by the United States to prevent the application of sanctions; and called upon all Member States to refrain from supplying Israel with any weapons and related equipment and to suspend any military assistance which Israel receives from them.

    • Even if Israel is using surgical strikes, it’s the civilian population that – may have no idea what is happening in a mosque across the street – that is paying the price.

      The Israelis are dropping munitions designed to destroy entire city blocks. The fireball and blast effects can incinerate everything up to a height that's several stories above the tallest buildings and at ground level cars and debris are flying around at ballistic speeds. You can see flying debris that includes steel reinforcing bar, pipes, and large chunks of concrete silhouetted in front of dust clouds over a hundred feet in the air from one end of a city block to the other. It's ludicrous to talk about pinpoint operations when you are using F16s to deliver 500 to 2000 pound munitions just to see how high you can make the rubble bounce.

      link to independent.co.uk
      link to 7e8c.https.cdn.softlayer.net

  • Blitzer and Rudoren pump Israeli tunnel fears (and AIPAC cashes in)
    • At the time of the Sykes-Picot pie cutting of 1016 or 1917 and subsequent amendments and side-agreements relative to it in 1922 and 1924, there was no such thing as a “Lebanon” in those areas

      I agree the boundaries were open to alterations after WWI, but there was a Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate there under the Règlement Organique conventions after the 1860s. The draft Treaty of Sevres (1920) and the mandate for Syria and Lebanon submitted in 1922 provided for separate states in Syria and Lebanon on that basis, i.e. Lebanon had been autonomous before the war and couldn't be seen to be worse off after it was liberated. link to jstor.org

      The Zionist interests in the territory up to the Litani river were ignored at San Remo in 1920. Great Britain's desire to have its oil pipeline, telegraph, and telephone lines from Mosul to Haifa routed through a British controlled corridor dictated where the future borders would be laid down. The French agreed in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the oil concession.

    • By 1994, the Lebanese government finally gave these people the long overdue citizenship, so an Israeli citizenship to be granted now would be redundant. All these years Lebanon more or less kept quiet about those villages simply because there were also other anomalies with borders screw ups by the French and British colonialists which would favour Israel if this can of worms was to be opened.

      Walid you are not reading the terms of the international boundary agreements regarding the right of transit, navigation, fishing, and grazing. Those individual rights were preserved on both sides of the new boundaries and the respective states have no standing to interfere with their exercise or any discretion to waive them.

    • I seem to engender non-sequiturs.

      If you mean "The West did abandon European Jewry. The Holocaust ended because the war ended, not because of Western opposition," then yes, that's a non-sequitur.

      The United States and the Allied governments had taken steps after WWI to conclude treaties for the protection of Jewish minorities in Europe. Starting in 1933, the US and the Allies put the Axis Powers on notice, both publicly and privately about their intention to put a stop to persecution of the Jews (by force if necessary) and their intention to hold individuals criminally responsible for massacres and wartime atrocities. See for example:
      *The Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, of a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Luther), [WASHINGTON,] May 3, 1933 starting at the bottom of page 352 and continuing to page 354 of the FRUS. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
      * The Statement on Atrocities Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      The Western powers did exactly as they had promised - at the cost of millions of their own citizens lives. The war would not have simply ended without that tremendous sacrifice. The Holocaust only happened because the Nazi leadership ignored those treaty obligations, and the warnings and assurances that they would be brought to justice. They literally preferred to die rather than abandon their persecution and attempted extermination of the Jews - and they would have succeeded if the Western powers hadn't intervened.

    • Do they pay you extra to put the “targeted” in there? Oooh, “targeted and struck by Hamas rockets”

      Normally sober and sane people go a little crazy and claim that Hamas uses primitive weapons that can't be accurately aimed or used to target military objects and that their use is a war crime. That's sort of odd, because pictures of Hamas mortars and grenade launchers indicate they have the same bells and whistles as the ones many other armies employ. In some cases, its probably a ploy to hurt sales of products obtained from competing arms suppliers.

    • If Lebanon disputes this, they should open negotiations for a peace treaty for the possible return.

      Whatever for? That's not how Israel acquired control of the territory in the first place. It remains bound by the international boundary conventions that preserved the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian/Transjordanian fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh and Tiberias, and the Jordan river - plus all of the existing grazing and farming rights on both sides of the new mandate era boundaries. If Egypt's blockade of international shipping lanes that passed through its territorial waters was illegal, then Israel's closure of those international inland waterways is illegal too. Can you explain why Israeli closure of those internal international waterways wasn't considered an act of war? See:
      *Exchange Of Notes Constituting An Agreement Between The British And French Governments Respecting The Boundary Line Between Syria And Palestine From The Mediterranean To El Hammé. Paris March 7, 1923, pdf page 7; and
      *Agreement between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910″ link to web.archive.org

      In any case, international consensus is that Israel currently does not occupy Lebanese territory.

      I''ll be sure to tell that to the Shia who were ethnically cleansed from the seven villages region just as soon as Israel either grants them citizenship, right of residency, or the right of transit, navigation and fishing rights, grazing rights, and so forth that I mentioned above.

    • At a tiny fraction of the monetary (not to say human) cost of assaulting Gaza, the “startup nation” could easily use existing ground-penetrating radar or magnetometer survey technologies to locate tunnels– or develop it’s own new methods.

      Or it could just ask the US to move one of its satellites to the region and allocate enough time to the task to finish its preliminary survey:

      American satellites have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border, according to senior official; number could actually be higher.

      link to jpost.com

  • Peter Beinart demolishes Gaza hasbara
    • In this sense, Zionism, or rejection of it, are largely irrelevant to working towards making people’s lives better in Israel and Palestine.

      You were doing okay, up until that point. But you are leaving out the fact that other than those organizations and individuals you mentioned, Zionism is a completely ethnocentric state undertaking supported by the overwhelming majority of the population and it is legally entrenched in fundamental laws, ministerial regulations, and landmark court rulings.

    • Then there’s a whole lot of work to be done to establish a Romany state, a homosexual state, a Rohingya state, a Transgender state, a Female state and a shitload more states for a large number of groups who’ve faced constant prejudice and oppression too.

      Israel was always required to incorporate the Palestinian inhabitants in the new Israeli nationality on the legal basis of complete equality and non-discrimination. The problem with your logic is that you are repeating the old Zionist nonsense that scattered Jewish groups were a nation. But nations are spatial entities that can fulfill the requisite criteria for statehood regarding a population and a well defined territory, without violating the rights of others. That doesn't apply to scattered ethnic or cultural minority groups.

    • Unlike the NYT paywall, the Haaretz paywall seems to be solidly constructed.

      I subscribe to Haaretz despite the fact that you can usually just copy and paste the link into Google search and then click the small down arrow next to the resulting headline link and select the Google cache version of the story from the drop down box.

    • Kerry’s apparent suggestion that the blockade be lifted (or whatever he actually did say and I’m not clear on whether anyone knows) seems to have pushed them over the edge.

      Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday that his proposal for a week long cease-fire of Israel's Gaza campaign was "completely unacceptable" and that it "would have strengthened extremists in the region."

      The justice minister told Israel Radio on Sunday that over the course of the day on Friday, Kerry's proposal had improved.

      By Friday afternoon, just before Shabbat, the security cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry's proposal which the ministers believed did not sufficiently ensure either continued Israeli activity against the Gaza terror tunnels or dismantling the rocket infrastructure, while giving Hamas significant concessions regarding lifting the blockade around the coastal enclave.

      link to jpost.com

  • 'Children killed in their sleep': Israeli artillery fire hits UN school, killing at least 20
    • LIVE UPDATES: Obama says Israeli soldier must be freed 'unconditionally'

      Where was the Ass-Hat-In-Chief when Israel refused to release that last batch of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with the decade old Taba Agreement and Secretary of State Kerry's written assurances?

    • I guess ‘better late than never’ fits here.

      I certainly think so. Accepting the existence of the occupied state of Palestine for the purposes of prosecuting Israel for the crime of apartheid has nothing to do with accepting the viability of the existing territorial entity or the finality of a two state solution. In fact, the Zionists may prefer a one state solution to mounting a defense of Israel's persecution of Arabs at home and abroad. The notion that the two countries borders are disputed cuts both ways and can be used to open the whole can of worms in either the ICC or the ICJ.

    • Look back to the betrayal like the Faizsl-Weizmann agreement and look at the situation today.

      You have to read things into the Faisal-Weizmann agreement that aren't really there to call it a betrayal, since the borders of the Jewish national home were supposed to be determined by a boundary commission and there were absolute safeguards for the fellahin cultivators. The borders could have been drawn around the existing Jewish communities without violating anyone's rights. The reason it never enter into force is because the promises regarding Arab independence, including Palestine's, weren't fulfilled. The British tried to conclude a treaty with King Husein for several years after the war, but he refused to recognize the British and Zionist position in the government of Palestine. The evidence is unequivocal that he only agreed to Sykes-Picot on the condition that British and French advisors would have no executive authority whatsoever.

    • Trapped in Gaza: How Hamas punishes reporters for the truth

      Apply Occam's razor and compare the number of journalists killed, wounded, imprisoned, or routinely muzzled by the military censor on behalf of the government of Israel versus the Hamas regime.

    • I’m not sure what any of this proves. Gaza is as dense as Philadelphia, and during any war or conflict, bad things happen.

      That's exactly why wars of choice have been completely outlawed and the right to wage a war in self-defense has been severely curtailed and is only lawful when certain legal criteria regarding targeting and observance of the customary prohibitions against disproportionate damage to the civilian population and their property are observed. If you are not sure what that means, you may be a sociopath.

    • If the ICC takes up this case, and I know there will be all kinds of manipulation, coercion and even threats to suppress it; but if they have the guts to go ahead with this; then those innocent civilians: men, women and children will have died so that their people can have justice and maybe that first victor

      There's finally a declaration with a long list of international legal scholars condemning the government of Israel and the IDF for war crimes and calling for action by the ICC, that has signatures of quite a few Palestinian solidarity activists who have been missing in action up until now. Victor Kattan and Susan Akram have signed several of these, but there are quite a few people on this one who have opposed the necessary UN statehood initiative or who gave up on real judicial efforts and pursued political action through devices like the Russell Tribunal. They have finally added their names to the list and have stopped blaming everything on Abbas:

      – Moreover, we denounce the shameful political pressures exerted by several UN Member States and the UN on President Mahmoud Abbas, to discourage recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and we urge the Governmental leaders of Palestine to invoke the jurisdiction of the ICC, by ratifying the ICC treaty and in the interim by resubmitting the declaration under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, in order to investigate and prosecute the serious international crimes committed on the Palestinian territory by all parties to the conflict; and

      – The UN Security Council must finally exercise its responsibilities in relation to peace and justice by referring the situation in Palestine to the Prosecutor of the ICC."

      -- link to imemc.org

      The Palestinian Justice Minister and the Gaza Prosecutor did resubmit a declaration and complaint last Friday. Note that a mere accession to the Rome Statute has no retroactive effects and that a 12(3) declaration does, but can only be filed by a non-member state before it joins the Court. So there should be no rush to file an accession until the Prosecutor agrees to investigate Israels past crimes too.

    • Does that “stockpile” include the nukes that Israel refuses to declare?

      Or the switches that Netanyahu ‘stole’?

      No, but the USAF has started transporting our nukes around from place to place by accident more often than it does on purpose (and it had always had more than its fair share of accidents and close calls in the past). So it would not come as a complete surprise, if a few nukes ever went missing, that they might end-up there.

    • Israel just called up another 16,000 IDF reserves. 2ooo US Jewish American “one soldier” youth are now fighting those babies and kids in Gaza. Brits only have 100 doing this duty.

      Robert Fisk is on top of the situation: "It's not just radicalised Islamists – what about foreign fighters who flock to the IDF?" -- link to independent.co.uk

    • An excellent idea! Put everything on the table – maps, (international) legal documents, demands, et cetera – in a public and televised negotiation session or series of sessions between the Palestinians and “Jewish State”. Have as independent and unbiased as possible an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators chair the sessions(s) and keep discussions tightly focused and fully transparent.

      That's exactly what the UNSCOP and General Assembly Ad Hoc Political Committee on Palestine did when they produced the only internationally adjudicated settlement to date.

    • Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive:

      The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a program managed by the U.S. military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for U.S. use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.

      What on Earth is the USA going to use these weapons for "locally"? And do we even have a treaty or status of forces agreement that will allow us to access them when required? One of the reasons the Iranian hostage rescue mission used an abandoned Russian air base in Egypt was that our other allies (cough, cough) wouldn't let the US fly through their airspace or use their military bases for staging or refueling operations, but Sadat would.

    • Empty words especially after his idiotic remarks of a few days earlier about Hamas having stored munitions in a vacant UNRWA school that gave Israel carte blanche to bomb the schools.

      What goes around comes around. Despite the fact that the UNRWA has transmitted the location of its facilities to the IDF on 17 occasions, all it took was a fake UNRWA sign on a booby-trapped building to trigger an IDF attack that resulted in three IDF members killed and fifteen wounded. link to jewishpress.com

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