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Total number of comments: 10158 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)

Hostage

Retired

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  • '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.

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