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fly bird (26)
Thursday June 14, 2018, 7:40 pm
Beating the US “Veto”: Palestinians Need Urgent Protection from Israel
Ramzy Baroud
June 12th, 2018

What is taking place in Palestine is not a ‘conflict’. We readily utilize the term but, in fact, the word ‘conflict’ is misleading. It equates between oppressed Palestinians and Israel, a military power that stands in violation of numerous United Nations Resolutions.

It is these ambiguous terminologies that allow the likes of United States UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, to champion Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’, as if the militarily occupied and colonized Palestinians are the ones threatening the security of their occupier and tormentor.

In fact, this is precisely what Haley has done to counter a draft UN Security Council Resolution presented by Kuwait to provide a minimum degree of protection for Palestinians. Haley vetoed the draft, thus continuing a grim legacy of US defense of Israel, despite the latter’s ongoing violence against Palestinians.

It is no surprise that out of the 80 vetoes exercised by the US at the UNSC, the majority were unleashed to protect Israel. The first such veto for Israel’s sake was in September 1972 and the latest, used by Haley, was on June 1.

Before it was put to the vote, the Kuwaiti draft was revised three times in order to ‘water it down’. Initially, it called for the protection of the Palestinian people from Israeli violence.

The final draft merely called for “The consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in the Gaza Strip.”

Still, Haley found the language “grossly one-sided.”

The near consensus in support of the Kuwait draft was met with complete rejection of Haley’s own draft resolution which demanded Palestinian groups cease “all violent provocative actions” in Gaza.

The ‘provocative actions’ being referred to in Haley’s draft is the mass mobilization by tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, who have been peacefully protesting for weeks, hoping that their protests will place the Israeli siege on Gaza back on the UN agenda.

Haley’s counter draft resolution did not garner a single vote in favor, save that of Haley’s own. But such humiliation at the international stage is hardly of essence to the US, which has wagered its international reputation and foreign policy to protect Israel at any cost, even from unarmed observers whose job is merely to report on what they see on the ground.

The last such ‘force’ was that of 60 – later increased to 90 – members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).

TIPH was established in May 1996 and has filed many reports on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian city, especially in Area H-2, a small part of the city that is controlled by the Israeli army to protect some of the most violent illegal Jewish settlers.

Jan Kristensen, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Norwegian army who headed TIPH had these words to say, following the completion of his one-year mission in Hebron in 2004:


The activity of the settlers and the army in the H-2 area of Hebron is creating an irreversible situation. In a sense, cleansing is being carried out. In other words, if the situation continues for another few years, the result will be that no Palestinians will remain there.

One can only imagine what has befallen Hebron since then. The army and Jewish settlers have become so emboldened to the extent that they execute Palestinians in cold blood with little or no consequence.

One such episode became particularly famous, for it was caught on camera. On March 24, 2015, an Israeli soldier carried out a routine operation by shooting in the head an incapacitated Palestinian.

The execution of Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was filmed by Imad Abushamsiya. The viral video caused Israel massive embarrassment, forcing it to hold a sham trial in which the Israeli soldier who killed al-Sharif received a light sentence; he was later released to a reception fit for heroes.

Abushamsiya, who filmed the murder, however, was harassed by both the Israeli army and police and received numerous death threats.

The Israeli practice of punishing the messenger is not new. The mother of Ahed Tamimi, Nariman, who filmed her teenage daughter confronting armed Israeli soldiers was also detained and sentenced.

Israel has practically punished Palestinians for recording their own subjugation by Israeli troops while, at the same time, empowering these very soldiers to do as they please; it is now in the process of turning this everyday reality into actual law.

A bill at the Israeli Knesset was put forward late May that prohibits “photographing and documenting (Israeli occupation) soldiers”, and criminalizing “anyone who filmed, photographed and/or recorded soldiers in the course of their duty.”

The bill, which is supported by Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, demands a five-year imprisonment term for violators.

The bill practically means that any form of monitoring of Israeli soldiers is a criminal act. If this is not a call for perpetual war crimes, what is?

Just to be sure, a second bill is proposing to give immunity to soldiers suspected of criminal activities during military operations.

The bill is promoted by deputy Defense Minister, Eli Ben Dahan, and is garnering support at the Knesset.

“The truth is that Ben Dahan’s bill is entirely redundant,” wrote Orly Noy in the Israeli 972 Magazine.

Noy cited a recent report by the Israeli human rights organization ‘Yesh Din’ which shows that “soldiers who allegedly commit crimes against the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories enjoy near-full immunity.”

Now, Palestinians are more vulnerable than ever before, and Israel, with the help of its American enablers, is more brazen than ever.

This tragedy cannot continue. The international community and civil society organizations, – independent of the US government and its shameful vetoes – must undertake the legal and moral responsibility to monitor Israeli action and to provide meaningful protection for Palestinians.

Israel should not have free reign to abuse Palestinians at will, and the international community should not stand by and watch the bloody spectacle as it continues to unfold.

https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/06/beating-the-us-veto-palestinians-need-urgent-protection-from-israel/
 

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 14, 2018, 7:43 pm
Amid Scathing Accusations of War Crimes, UN Votes to Condemn Israeli Violence Against Palestinians.

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
June 14, 2018

ust hours after a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report accused Israel of showing “blatant disregard for Palestinian lives” and commiting war crimes in its massacre of over 100 nonviolent demonstrators in Gaza over the past several weeks, the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that condemns Israel’s “excessive, disproportionate, and indiscriminate” use of live fire against peaceful Palestinians.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, said in a speech following Wednesday’s vote.

The resolution denouncing Israel’s murderous behavior—which was approved by a 120-8 vote, with 45 abstentions—also requests proposals from the UN Secretary General “ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.”

In a last-ditch effort to thwart the UN resolution, the United States tried to ram through an amendment blaming Hamas for initiating violence in the Gaza Strip. The amendment ultimately failed—probably because, as media analyst Adam Johnson points out, “100 percent of those killed [during the recent anti-occupation protests] were killed by Israel.”

Predictably, the US voted against the final measure.







The UN vote came on the heels of HRW’s report documenting the persistent “pattern of Israeli forces shooting people who posed no imminent threat to life with live ammunition.”

In addition to backing the UN resolution that was approved on Wednesday, HRW called on “the International Criminal Court to open a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine.”

As Common Dreams reported, the UN Human Rights Council voted last month to dispatch war crimes investigators to probe Israel’s assault on peaceful demonstrators in Gaza.

“Israel’s use of lethal force when there was no imminent threat to life has taken a heavy toll in life and limb,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said in a statement on Wednesday. “The international community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the US blocks international accountability with its Security Council veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives.”

https://truthout.org/articles/amid-scathing-accusations-of-war-crimes-un-votes-to-condemn-israeli-violence-against-palestinians/
 

fly bird (26)
Friday June 15, 2018, 9:02 am
Pink Floyd, Roger Waters - Song for Palestine. (5:00)
Jan 5, 2013

"We shall overcome, some day!"

"We will break down the prison walls! We will tear down those prison walls!"


https://youtu.be/xlD-Othn2bQ
 

fly bird (26)
Saturday June 16, 2018, 6:01 am
300 prominent global figures accuse Israel of committing ‘war crimes’ .
June 12, 2018

Israel’s forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians has been denounced as a war crime by over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders and activists from around the world.

The universal show of solidarity to the Palestinians was published in an open letter which voiced strong opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the occupied West Bank.

Signatories include 90 members of parliament, many of whom are from the EU and UK parliaments. Other notable signatories include ten Israel Prize laureates, film director Ken Loach, artists Ai Weiwei, author Alice Walker, academic Noam Chomsky and several musicians. Dozens of Rabbis have also signed the letter denouncing Israel for what many would describe ethnic cleansing.

Forcible transfer – by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes – is a war crime

the letter states.

Mentioning, in particular, residents facing expulsion from three areas; the Jordan Valley, the South Hebron Hills and East Jerusalem, the letter says that Israel “aims to establish facts on the ground that would achieve exclusive de-facto Israeli control in those areas and eventually facilitate formal annexation”.

“Israel’s plans,” the letter points out, “range from freezing Palestinian development, through minimising Palestinian foothold in major parts of the West Bank, to the destruction and transfer of entire communities.” The plans, they add, are being implemented through “coercive measures” which are listed as: not being allowed to build new private or public buildings; denied access to water grids or to pave access roads; demolitions; threats and confiscation of essential equipment.

After denouncing Israel for committing “war crimes” the letter says that “all people responsible for it – including Israeli prime minister and the minister of defence – bear personal responsibility.”

They also accuse Israel’s high court of “rubber stamping” the criminal policies of the Israeli government. “All it does is also implicate Israeli High Court justices in what is nothing short of a war crime, no matter how much legal formalism is enlisted in an effort to excuse the inexcusable,” the letter concludes.

Open letter which voiced strong opposition to Israel’s plans to forcibly transfer thousands of Palestinians living in farming-shepherding communities in the occupied West Bank [File photo]

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180612-300-prominent-global-figures-accuse-israel-of-committing-war-crimes/
 

fly bird (26)
Saturday June 16, 2018, 6:18 am
VIDEO: “Bankrolling Abuse: Israeli Banks in West Bank Settlements” (2/2)

Published on Jun 11, 2018
(7:59)

Omar Shakir, director for Human Rights Watch in Israel-Palestine discusses an investigative report on the illegal role of International and Israeli banks in the West Bank.

https://youtu.be/iCgrhOm-y1A
 
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