Yesterday, the so-called UN Human Rights Council debated the report that slammed Israel for its conduct with the passengers who attacked IDF soldiers with iron bars, chains and knives as they boarded the ship.
As I mentioned, the report was incredibly biased and it trampled on international law. But the people debating the report did not bother to read it, because they characterized the flotilla as "humanitarian" - and the report, pointedly, did not.
80. The Mission notes a certain tension between the political objectives of the flotilla and its humanitarian objectives. This comes to light the moment that the Government of Israel made offers to allow the humanitarian aid to be delivered via Israeli ports but under the supervision of a neutral organization. The Mission also notes that the Gaza Strip does not possess a deep sea port designed to receive the kind of cargo vessels included in the flotilla, raising practical logistical questions about the plan to deliver large quantities of aid by the route chosen. Whilst the Mission is satisfied that the flotilla constituted a serious attempt to bring essential humanitarian supplies into Gaza, it seems clear that the primary objective was political, as indeed demonstrated by the decision of those on board the Rachel Corrie to reject a Government of Ireland-sponsored proposal that the cargo in that ship to be allowed through Ashdod intact.
While the mission was wrong about how serious the flotilla was in bringing aid - the aid was not organized in any way that would have made it useful, and much of it was literally junk like expired medicines - the clear conclusion here is that the flotilla was not primarily a humanitarian mission.
Indeed, the mission even notes that
Many of the participants interviewed did not have specific skills or qualifications for humanitarian work. Some organizations said that they selected participants on the basis of their qualifications (for example, medical doctors), status as people of influence (parliamentarians, authors) as well as their ability to resist provocation.
In the conclusions and recommendations, the mission writes quite clearly:
277. A distinction must be made between activities taken to alleviate crises and action to address the causes creating the crisis. The latter action is characterized as political action and therefore inappropriate for groups that wish to be classified as humanitarian. This point is made because of the evidence that, while some of the passengers were solely interested in delivering supplies to the people in Gaza, for others the main purpose was raising awareness of the blockade with a view to its removal, as the only way to solve the crisis. An examination should be made to clearly define humanitarianism, as distinct from humanitarian action, so that there can be an agreed form of intervention and jurisdiction when humanitarian crises occur.
The mission here is acknowledging that not only was the flotilla primarily a political stunt that used humanitarian aid as a cover for a public relations ploy, but that by misrepresenting themselves as humanitarian they are putting real humanitarian aid activities in jeopardy. Or, in the words of the report, "Too often they are accused as being meddlesome and at worst as terrorists or enemy agents."
We see, however, that the UNHRC is ignoring this advice from its own committee. During the debate we see phrases like "the unwarranted and unprovoked military action by Israel against a humanitarian mission constituted a flagrant violation of international law" and "Israeli forces had boarded a humanitarian vessel" and "The organizers of the freedom flotilla were on a humanitarian mission."
Which just goes to show that the entire mission was a farce - even though the members made some attempts to appear fair and, in this case, made a very important and accurate observation and recommendation about the purpose of the flotilla, the UNHRC just barreled on and used the report as an excuse to vilify Israel, which was the mandate of the mission to begin with.
A nice piece in Ha'aretz by Benny Morris. Morris describes how Christopher Hitchens notices the Muslim world is "riddled by corruption, violence and brutal autocracy, gradually falling into the grip of a nihilistic or medieval Islamism that is challenging the core values of the West - liberalism, democracy, tolerance and equal rights for women, homosexuals and ethnic minorities." - but he doesn't see the same problems with Palestinian Arabs.
In "Hitch-22" Hitchens approvingly cites (and expands) a metaphor coined (I think) by Jeffrey Goldberg, a correspondent for The Atlantic: A man (the Zionist Jew), to save himself, leaps from a burning building (anti-Semitic and Holocaust Europe) and lands on an innocent bystander (a Palestinian), crushing him. To which Hitchens adds - and the falling man lands on the Palestinian again and again (the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza, the suppression of the intifadas, the construction of settlements in the territories, etc.).
But the metaphor is disingenuous, and it requires amplification to conform to the facts of history. In fact, as the leaping man nears the ground he offers the bystander a compromise - let's share the pavement, some for you, some for me. The bystander responds with a firm "no," and tries, again and again (1920, 1921, 1929, the Arab Revolt of 1936-39 and the 1947-48 War of Independence), to stab the falling man as he descends to the pavement. So the leaping man lands on the bystander, crushing him. Later, again and again, the leaping man, now firmly ensconced on the pavement, offers the crushed bystander a compromise ("autonomy" in 1978, a "two-state solution" in 2000 and in 2008), and again and again the bystander says "no."
The falling man may have somewhat wronged the bystander, but the bystander was never an innocent one; he was an active agent in and a party to his own demise.
In "Hitch-22" this is somehow omitted. ...
Moreover, throughout Hitchens seems to accept the Palestinians' definition of themselves as "natives" struggling against an "imperialist" foreign enemy.
But what of Jewish residence in the Land of Israel between the 12th century B.C.E. and the late Byzantine period (5th and 6th centuries C.E.)?
And what of Jewish residence and "nativeness" in Palestine since 1882, nearly 130 years ago? If residence grants rights, surely Jewish residence counterbalances Arab residence in Palestine since 636 C.E.
And if it is conquest that affords a claim to territory, then how is the Arab conquest in the 7th century, by blood and fire, any more morally cogent than the Jewish conquests of 1200 B.C.E. or 1948/1967?
Hitchens needs to take a long, hard look at Palestinian history and at the nature, behavior and aims of the Palestinian national movement.
On the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the "second intifada" terror spree, Hamas has come out with its own statistics.
According to the terrorist organization, writing in the Qassam Brigades website, Hamas has launched some 4300 attacks since 2000, including rocket and mortar attacks, sniping, ambushes and 61 suicide bombings.
The one attack that they specify as being the most praiseworthy was the 2002 Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, which killed 30 people (Hamas claims "36 Zionists.") In that attack, Hamas heroically murdered 21 people over the age of 70, ten of them elderly married couples (plus two other couples who were younger.)
Some 1800 Hamas members were "martyred" in these past ten years.
Palestine Today has a weepy article about the psychological pain of Gaza men - who are forced to stay home and draw salaries from the Palestinian Authority.
Since the Hamas coup, tens of thousands of men employed by the PA have been forced by to not work in order to continue to get paid. If they take another job, or go back to their old jobs, they will lose their free paycheck.
Some of them have to suffer the indignity of watching their wives go off to work while they stay home with the children, an unspeakable horror!
The article goes on to talk to women who get beaten by their now-impotent husbands out of their frustration at having nothing to do. Many also beat their children.
One expert advises wives to go out of their way to treat their husbands as the kings of their home to avoid these beatings.
In an interview with Syrian newspaper al-Watan, [Yemen's Information Minister Hassan] al-Lawzi confirmed that the Yemeni government has strong ties with the United States.
‘’These ties protect Yemen from Zionist pressures’’, said Al-Lawzi, adding the relation between Yemen and the Unites states is developed to combat a joint threat, ‘’which is the crimes of al-Qaeda’’.
‘’Pressures were put on Yemen to compromise the Arab unanimously and to establish relations with Israel’’, al-Lawzi said.
‘’Yemen's relations with the United States are strong, but not on the expense of the Palestinian people and national interests. Yemen went through bitter experiences of which the most dangerous was the export of revolutions’’, he stressed. ‘’However, it overcame that’’, he added.
What is happening in Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia shows that there were conspiracies to stress the "Zionist entity" and others against Arab countries, including Yemen.
I don't quite understand the highlighted sentence; I think he is saying that since the US needs Yemen to help fight Al Qaeda, it no longer pressures the country to move to normalize relations with Israel.
More notable is that a minister of an Arab state, presumably an educated man, thinks that somehow events in Iraq, Somalia and the Sudan are really due to Zionist interests. This all-encompassing obsession with Israel is not merely a Palestinian Arab symptom but deeply embedded in the psyches of hundreds of millions of Arabs whose lives are not affected by events in Israel at all.
And this is yet another reason why real peace is simply not in the cards - as long as so many Arab leaders' visions are fatally skewed by irrational hate, nothing can be done to mollify them short of destroying Israel altogether. This minister's opinion might be brushed off as irrelevant, but it is not aberrant.
Iran's atomic chief said on Wednesday that the country's first nuclear power plant will be ready to generate electricity by January -- two months later than announced.
Ali Akbar Salehi said that the process of placing fuel rods at the Bushehr facility, built by Russia, would be completed by the "middle of" the Iranian month of Aban, around November 7, the state television's website reported.
"Two or three months from then, the electricity generated by the plant will be connected to the grid," said Salehi, chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation.
Iran began loading the Russian-supplied fuel rods on August 21 and Ali Shirzadian, spokesman for the atomic body, had then said the plant would be connected to the national grid by end of October or early November.
But Salehi later had said that the loading would begin at the end of the Iranian month of Shahrivar (September 22) and by the end of the month of Mehr (October 22), the lid of the reactor would be shut.
Salehi, in an interview with Al-Alam television on August 31, blamed the delays on Bushehr's "severe hot weather" and safety concerns, adding that the loading was being done during the night.
Iran has not hinted at any other reasons for the delay, but officials have acknowledged that a computer worm is mutating and wreaking havoc on computerised industrial equipment in the country, where an official said on Monday that about 30,000 IP addresses had already been infected.
Analysts say that the Stuxnet worm may have been designed to target Iran's nuclear facilities.
Lebanon remains an issue of tension between Washington and Damascus. The U.S. has strongly voiced its support for the U.N. completing its investigation into Mr. Hariri's murder, as well as trying those indicted for the crime at a U.N. court in The Hague.
Mr. Moallem [Walid Moallem, foreign minister of Syria] alleged Monday that the U.N.'s work in Lebanon has been irredeemably "politicized" and that Damascus has received word that members of Hezbollah were soon to be formally charged with the murder. He said that such developments risked plunging Lebanon into a new round of sectarian strife and that the U.N.'s investigation should be replaced by a purely Lebanese investigation to ensure fair treatment.
"We are convinced that a condemnation of the prosecutor of this court against Hezbollah will be a factor of disturbance in Lebanon," Mr. Moallem said.
Hezbollah publicly supported the STL before it was apparent that they were going to be found to be behind the murder.
Still, no outrage from the West over these threats. In fact, there has been little note of them altogether.
At least 100 settlers accompanied by the Israeli military have invaded Nablus city in the occupied West Bank, desecrating Prophet Joseph's Tomb.
The attack occurred at midnight, Press TV correspondent Sari al-Khalili reported from Ramallah on Tuesday.
They helpfully provide their readers with a photo of this "desecration":
Well, you can understand how something like this is utterly unacceptable. You just have to first accept the premise that Jews desecrate sacred Muslim land everywhere they go by their very presence, and the entire Middle East (as well as parts of Europe and Asia) are Muslim land.
Meanwhile, Ma'an quotes a PA official as saying there is no way that Jews would be allowed to restore the holy site. Ma'an describes the Arab terror attacks against Jews at the site in October 2000 as "violence precipitated by settler visits to the site."
This year there was an architectural design competition for creating sukkot, the huts that traditional Jews eat and (some) sleep in during the current Sukkot holiday. The finalists were on display in New York.
Here is a video of the finalists, from The Forward:
When I first saw some of these designs, I thought that there was no way that they were kosher sukkot. However, it turns out that the designers used the services of a rabbinical student from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a (very) modern Orthodox institution, in order to ensure that each of the designs were halachically acceptable.
I wish I would have visited!
Here is an interview with the halachic consultant:
Here’s the roll-call on who introduced terrorism (along with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons) to the Middle East:
Bombs in Cafés: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa. (actually grenades).
Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937
Drive-by shootings with automatic weapons: IZL and LHI in 1937-38 and 1947-48 (Morris, Righteous Victims, p681.)
Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa. (Delayed-action, electrically detonated)
Bombing of a passenger Ship: first used by the Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940, killing over 200 of their own fellows.
Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem (Menachem Begin went on to become Prime Minister of Israel).
Suitcase bombing: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 against British Embassy in Rome.
Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah Car-bomb: first used by Zionists against the British near Jaffa 5 December 1946.
Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against members of the British government, 20 of them.
Parcel Bomb: first used by Zionists against the British in London 3 September 1947.
Reprisal murder of hostages: first used by Zionists against the British in Netanya area on 29 July 1947.
Truck-bombs: first used by Zionists 4th Jan 1948 in the centre of Jaffa, killing 26.
Aircraft hijacking: world-first by Israeli jets Dec 1954 on a Syrian civilian airliner (random seizure of hostages to recover 5 spies). 14 years before any Palestinian.
I didn't check the veracity of these claims, but I did waste a few minutes looking up any evidence of earlier Arab crimes of the same types.
On June 4, 1936, a bomb was thrown by an Arab into a bus in Haifa, injuring 6 Jews and two Arabs.
On July 23, 1936, an Arab was arrested for planting a bomb in a cafe, also in Haifa.
Arabs threw at least one bomb at a small hotel in Tiberias on June 29, 1938, injuring seven Jews.
And, a few years ago I found that Arabs exploded a car bomb in 1938.
The list was obviously just made up without any real research, but when people read lists of such "facts" with specific dates they tend to not think critically about whether the facts are true or not.
And while it takes little time to make up lies, it takes a lot of time to debunk them. It is the Internet equivalent of asymmetric warfare, with the liars taking the roles of terrorists.
(I commented at the site, and for a few hours my comment remains "waiting moderation.")
UPDATE: As expected, the site didn't allow my small fact-checking comments - where I challenged them to admit that their anonymous source was making up facts - to pass moderation. Just in case anyone out there thought that a site called "Intifada Palestine" had any interest in truth.
I just dug this up from the Palestine Post of December 6, 1933:
In January, a British judge acquitted the Arabs, noting that while they certainly lied in their testimony and did things that were very suspicious, the prosecution witnesses were not reliable either and there was not enough evidence to convict them of creating this "secret society" nor of conspiring to kill Jews.
Palestine Press Agency quotes Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar as saying that Yasir Arafat instructed Hamas to attack Jewish civilians at the start of the second intifada.
Speaking at an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the terror spree in September 2000, Zahar said "the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat had ordered Hamas to implement a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state, after the failure of negotiations with the Israeli government at that time."
We already knew that Arafat would use other organizations as cover for terror acts, but this is the first time we have seen Arafat colluding with Hamas for attacks (although the Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades had cooperated with Hamas in the past.)
Most of Zahar's speech attacked the idea of negotiations with Israel and the effectiveness of "resistance."
He also said that Hamas' rule in Gaza proves the usefulness of resistance, apparently saying that the Hamas police and security forces had participated in attacks on Israeli targets. If that is the real translation, then we have evenmore proof that Goldstone and other "human rights" organizations were wrong in trying to distinguish between Hamas' "civilian" police and their military, and Israel was entirely correct in attacking the police stations.
Arab media are reporting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to throw a symbolic stone towards Israel when he visits southern Lebanon in October.
According to the reports, Ahmadinejad will visit Lebanon for two days, October 13-14. On the second day he will tour southern Lebanon under the protection of Hezbollah and his own Iranian security detail, already in place planning the trip.
He will visit Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil, both scenes of major battles in the 2006 Lebanon war where Hezbollah deaths outpaced IDF deaths by a ratio of roughly 8 to 1 and where Hezbollah claimed victory.
Ahmadiejad's stone throwing apparently will be done from Beit Jbeil.
He has not yet scheduled his meeting with Hassan Nasrallah, an event that is just crying out for a visit by a JDAM or two.
Jordan has written a "carefully worded" letter to the head of UNRWA and to the Arab donor nations warning about the shortfall in UNRWA's budget.
Originally reported in Saudi Arabia's Okaz on September 19th, the letter emphasized the dangers to Lebanon and Jordan of reducing the UNRWA budget.
Even though the vast majority of so-called "Palestinian refugees" in Jordan are in fact Jordanian citizens, the Hashemite kingdom shows no interest in integrating those residents into Jordanian society and has consistently worked to keep the Palestinian Arabs crammed into these miserable camps under UNRWA control rather than integrate these citizens into Jordanian society.
The newspaper said that Jordan regularly warns of the dangers of reducing UNRWA's budget, as "these UNRWA camps are meant to keep the issue of Palestinian refugees alive."
Here the Arab world is revealing explicitly the purpose of UNRWA from their perspective: not to reduce the "refugee" problem but to perpetuate it.
By way of contrast, in 1950 Israel provided Israeli citizenship to the members of UNRWA refugee camps in the new state and within a couple of years the camps were gone, as the refugees became self-supporting members of Israeli society. Israel felt that the presence of UNRWA camps on its territory - a foreign entity taking care of Israeli Arab citizens, instead of the state itself - was "repugnant."
A ship of some 9 Jews is now being intercepted by the Israeli navy en route to Gaza. The Islamic Jihad newspaper Palestine Today notes, that, unlike other flotillas and vessels, Hamas has been ambivalent at best towards the entire idea of this particular pseudo-aid ship.
The reason? Because it has some Israelis on board who do not fully support the destruction of Israel.
Political writer Dr. Issam Shawar wrote that the reception of these peace activists in the Gaza Strip means recognizing the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of the areas occupied in 1948. Even though they claim to recognize the right of the people of Gaza and the West to exist, they do not recognize the right of the majority of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and do not recognize as well as the crime of occupation for the rest of our territory. Those people are trying to ignore the usurpation of people's rights, and trying to mask the ugly face of occupation with this photo-op. Do not fool us this trick, which is widely practiced in the West and the rest of the world....This is much different from allowing Israeli journalists [into Gaza] as that does not imply recognition of the [Zionist] regime.
"We must stop them so as not to burden the government with responsibility to have to protect them or even hand them over to the Israeli side in the event that their lives become at risk by organizations see their arrival as an opportunity to increase the number of hostages or to avenge the victims of the holocaust of Gaza."
Spokesman for the Hamas parliamentary bloc al-Masri did not reveal a clear position on receiving the ship, but stressed that his government would welcome any sincere effort and motivation to break the siege on the Gaza Strip.
Striving to appear even handed at his UN address, President Obama repeatedly drew a parallel between continued Israeli settlements and Palestinian incitement. Yet while the media is filled with reports of the Obama administration's disappointment with Israel's refusal to renew the temporary suspension of settlement building, not a peep is heard regarding the ongoing vile anti-Israeli propaganda emanating from the Palestinian Authority. Clearly, the media understands Obama's "even-handedness" is not to be taken seriously.
At the UN Obama was applauded as he said:
We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements
The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians. (Applause.) And — and nations within this body do the Palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks against Israel over constructive willingness to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and its right to exist in peace and security.
Israel has suspended settlement growth for 10 months but the May/June 2010 PAL Watch study of the Palestinian Authority controlled media finds little evidence of any reduction in Palestinian incitement...
A couple of months ago I posted a Ha'aretz article about how an American pro-Palestinian Arab activist was raped by one of her heroes, and the crime was hushed up. JoeSettler followed up with other cases of harassment and attacks.
There have been a few other articles in the Hebrew media about these cases, and the Zionism Israel site puts it all together - and it is not pretty:
If you are looking for an adventure of a new and different kind, then you should probably head for the Palestinian territories, where you can do a real service to the oppressed Palestinians and at the same time get first hand experience of solidarity and intimate dialog with Palestinian Arabs, who, it seems, rape American and European female activists.
It was not the only incident. An undated article in Hebrew, by Roni Aloni Sedovnik reported on Betrayal by the left of female peace activists who were sexually assaulted. Aloni-Sedovnik reported an additional case, the ‘severe sexual assault’ of an Israeli peace activist at Sheikh Jarrah. The victim tried to complain, but this time it was Israeli peace activists who shut her up:
“However, after heavy and unfair pressure from the organizers of the Sheikh Jarrah protest, she withdrew her complaint.
“As if that is not enough to make one appalled at the hypocritical morality and loss of direction, the situation became more serious recently, when the activists organizing the the demonstrations in Bil’in and Sheikh Jarah asked female demonstrators to wear ‘modest dress’ according to the code accepted in Arab villages: Hijab, Burqa or other head covering…
“How did we not hear about this? After all, the phenomenon is known in a broad group of peace activists, so what can we learn from the hushing up of this topic by the media?…
‘Peace’ groups such as Ir Amim that are demonstrating in Sheikh Jarrah and Bilin get U.S. tax deductible donations through the NIF, which supposedly advances ‘women’s rights’ and ‘democracy.’
“I know of such rape cases from women who are not Jewish: a female European leftist activist, a female Red Cross volunteer and a young Arab woman from Yafo. I met the three of them during reserve service. I met with each of them afterwards… they told me what happens there, in the Palestinian villages, far from any observing eye.”
“It is not a matter of rape to satisfy lust. They are done systematically in order to impregnate the girl, and then to marry her, after she converts to Islam. Of course, we know about this method from girls who underwent a similar process inside Israel and escaped to Europe, but it is hard to escape from the [Palestinian] territories. Sometimes these women, some of whom are already older women, are not allowed to leave their homes unaccompanied, in order to prevent their escape. If someone doubts my words…please, check the statistics for entries and departures, and you will discover that a large portion of female leftist activists did not leave the country. Everyone knows about it, but nobody dares to talk about it…
“I ran into a few Norwegian girls married to Palestinians. They are not happy. Their lives were destroyed. Their families have broken off contact with them. They have no place to return to. They are deep in the raising of children and wish to die. I assume there are women in that situation in their own countries and in Israel too. Not everyone is happy, but one might think that a person who grew up in Oslo will have trouble adjusting to life in the refugee camps. She is no longer allowed to be free, to fly about the world as she wishes, or even to be a leftist activist.
Belo pleaded with Israeli womens’ and leftist organizations to help, but so far, none has done so.
The cause was also taken up by Israeli blogger Nimrod Avissar, in a Hebrew article called Thunderous Silence.
These Israeli reporters and bloggers do not all fit the stereotype of right wing settler supporters. Haaretz generally is sympathetic to Palestinians and so is their reporter and analyst Avi Issacharoff. Nimrod Avissar lives in Ramat Gan, not in a settlement. The reports cannot be dismissed. When rumors about Israeli ‘war crimes’ and illegal organ transplants surfaced, they were plastered all over respected journals such as the New York Times and Time magazine, as well as Scandinavian journals, though there was probably not a word of truth to them. Judge Richard Goldstone wrote thousands of pages and made the gravest accusations based on flimsier evidence, causing an upheaval in international justice as well as media coverage. But almost nothing at all has been published in international media about these rapes. No activists took up the cause of these poor women. There were two articles about the rape issue in a respectable journal, but they were ignored. Additional material accumulated, but that too was ignored. ...
Over the years, I have heard plenty of stories, not just about Israeli or European women being raped, but about Arab Christian girls being raped, sometimes with the cooperation of, or on the initiative of, the Fatah Police. I have also seen those earnest Scandinavian Lutheran girls, recruited for the causes of ‘peace’ and dialog,’ standing in a room full of Palestinian young men. What could they have in common?? Why were there no Scandinavian young men? Draw your own conclusions. If it was ‘dialog’ and ‘solidarity’ that they sought, they came to the right place, it seems. I have also seen ominous warnings about ‘modest dress.’
Don’t the charges at least merit further investigation and publicity? After all, if the same charges were leveled at Israelis, there would be a barrage of publicity, regardless of whether they had any truth to them or not. There are numerous specious allegations that Israeli soldiers raped Palestinians. There was even a ‘study’ that ‘proved’ that Israeli soldiers (including the non-Jewish ones) do not rape Palestinians because IDF soldiers are racists.
Surely it is time to break the silence? Won’t Women in Black or Code Pink or perhaps Gila Svirsky’s group (CWP – Coalition of women for Peace) organize a tumultuous demonstration demanding an international investigation?? It is understandable if they keep mum about these stories. But where is the army of Zionist bloggers and journalists who are supposed to publicize these issues? Where are the organizations who take money to supposedly defend Israel? Why is everyone silent??
At least there should be an investigation. Surely, all progressive people will welcome an investigation into the status of women in the West Bank, which is no doubt commendable in every way.
Won’t someone publicize this cause? Won’t someone speak out about this injustice? Won’t someone tour campuses in the United States and Scandinavia to warn the innocents before it is too late?? Won’t someone come forward and break the silence??
And thus the hypocrisy of feminists who support Palestinian Arab rights is exposed. The only leftists who care about these victims are the ones who happen to be - Zionist.
Palestine Press Agency reports that the Consul General of Palestine in Sweden has complained that some 76 Palestinian Arab girls have been "kidnapped" by Swedish authorities.
The Swedish authorities say that the children were being beaten and abused by their parents, and they have been placed in foster homes to protect them. The consul charges that the girls are being raised in an alien culture with no regard to their native religion and customs.
The consul claims that 20 of the girls have lost their virginity while in their adopted homes. (I don't know exactly what polling methods he used to determine that fact.)
The diplomat says that the children's families are the most appropriate places to raise the kids.
A Swedish Arab of Palestinian origin whose daughter was taken away - presumably because he abused her - likened this "kidnapping" and raising the kids in the immoral Swedish culture to the Naqba, saying that Sweden was acting like Israel.
The article says that the children are being taken on the "pretext" of child abuse, but no one really denies that such abuse has indeed taken place.
Which means that the official Palestinian Arab position is that it is better for girls to be brought up with abuse and fear within their own culture than being treated with respect in Swedish culture.
Hezbollah, taking a page out of the Mafia playbook, is telling the entire country of Lebanon that anyone who supports the findings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on who was behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (and 22 others) will be, pretty much, treated as a Zionist enemy and killed.
Hizbullah's MP Nawwaf Moussawi on Friday warned that "the period that will follow the (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) indictment won't be the same as the one before, and any group in Lebanon that might endorse this indictment will be treated as one of the tools of the U.S.-Israeli invasion, and it will have the same fate as the invader."
"Those must not only be worried, but also panic-stricken, and we tell everyone that those who couldn't defeat the Resistance through fire and iron and billions of dollars will not be able to defeat it through an indictment or anything else," Moussawi warned.
Moussawi’s maddening logic [is] that those who support it are in league with Israel and will suffer the consequences. It posits that if you unconditionally support international justice (is there any other way to support justice?) and at the same time want a country that is predicated on the notion of the state; and if you oppose the open-ended right of Hezbollah to both maintain its weapons and dictate matters of war and peace, while at the same time using the threat of those weapons to promote its domestic agenda, then you are a Zionist.
This means the Resistance is permitted to confront the Israeli enemy, and presumably those who support it. If you don’t support Hezbollah, then you support Israel. If you support Israel, you are the enemy, and the enemy will be dealt with.
Lebanon is an entire country held hostage by Iran, using Hezbollah as a proxy. While the world pays lip service to worrying about Iranian nuclear ambitions, here we have an entire nation that is being blackmailed to bend to Iran's wishes on threat of civil war. Because of previous capitulations to Hezbollah, the Lebanese are no longer in a position to even consider fighting back for their very freedom.
The STL has delayed releasing its findings and is now supposed to announce them by the end of the year. The powder keg is in place, Iran is offering to provide lots of sparks, and the West still pretends that Lebanon is a minor issue but bulldozers in the West Bank are the real problem in the region.
Iranian officials must be competing to who can do the best job of insulting Israel.
The latest participant in the contest is Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, who put out this entry:
Iran's first vice-president says Israel will bite the dust in the face of regional nations' resistance and determination, calling the Israeli regime the very embodiment of evil.
"There is no doubt that the Zionist regime will be absolutely defeated in the face of the regional nations' determination and resistance," Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said in a meeting with Lebanese Health Minister Mohamad Jawad Khalifeh.
The Iranian official described Israel as 'the representative of the Devil on Earth,' and added the existence of Israel in the region is like “deadly venom.”
He said Tel Aviv seeks to sow discord among different faiths, adding the sacrilegious burnings of the holy Qur'an was yet another move to drive a wedge between Muslims and Christians.
"Zionism is hostile to all divine faiths and intends to secure its evil objectives by provoking divisions among the followers of different religions, but it will certainly fail thanks to the vigilance of nations," he continued.
Nice! How will the next Iranian official top this one? Maybe accusing all Zionists of eating their young?
There has been a rumor going around Egypt for the past couple of weeks that Anwar Sadat had given Gamal Nasser some poisoned coffee to kill him and take over his job in 1970.
One of Nasser's doctors felt compelled to go on TV to deny it:
The doctor of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser denied recent reports that he died of poisoned coffee prepared for him by his successor President Anwar Sadat and attributed his death to hereditary reasons.
Dr. al-Sawy Habib, one of the members of the medical team of Abdel-Nasser, refuted insinuations made on T.V. by veteran Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal about the involvement of Anwar Sadat in Nasser’s death.
“What Heikal said about Sadat making a cup of coffee for Nasser three days before his death is true,” Habib told Al Arabiya’s Studio Cairo Friday. “But this is not the reason for his death.”
According to Habib, it is very unlikely to identify a type of poison that takes such a long time to become effective.
“Also nothing abnormal happened to Nasser after drinking the coffee.”
Habib, who treated Nasser from July 1967 till his death in September 1970, said that the late president suffered from a heart stroke a year before his death and that he was already suffering from arteriosclerosis, varicose lungs, and diabetic complications.
“Then he had a heart attack and this immediately stopped more than 40% of the cardiac muscle.”
Of course, most of the Arab world still believes that Yasir Arafat was assassinated by Israel, and no one is likely to go on TV and say otherwise.
Even when Israel eases restrictions on goods entering Gaza, the wire services find Gazans more than happy to whine. From AFP:
The shelves are packed with imported food, but the ersatz prosperity of the newly opened "Gaza Mall" hides the lingering malaise haunting the impoverished territory.
The two-story supermarket in Gaza City opened its doors shortly after Israel partially lifted a four-year blockade of the Hamas-run enclave in June following an international outcry over the deadly seizure of an aid flotilla.
Three months later, it sells everything from Nestle cereals and Galaxy chocolate to blue jeans and toys, nearly everything imported from Israel. Newly released data show the economy is starting to recover.
But weary factory owners say they are being squeezed out of business by the new imports and more than a third of the Gaza workforce remains unemployed.
"Because of the entry of products from Israel, the West Bank and Jordan after the Freedom Flotilla incident we had to stop one of our production lines," said Musa Siyam, the owner of the Mecca Cola plant outside Gaza City.
"We couldn't compete on price because there are still raw materials we cannot bring into Gaza... I had to lay off 20 workers."
By the way, today some 15 trucks filled with cement and iron, and 6 more with communications equipment, are being shipped from Israel to Gaza - in addition to the 200 trucks of food, medicine and fuel.
Should priority be going towards building materials and infrastructure - or to factory owners? AFP doesn't even bother to ask the question.
English rock star Ozzy Osbourne arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on a private plane Sunday evening, along with his family members.
Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, who also served as his personal manager, held a press conference at a Tel Aviv hotel.
Asked whether he had any hesitations about visiting Israel, on the backdrop of the latest cancellations by international artists, he replied that he tries to stay away from politics because "I wouldn't know what I was talking about."
“Politicians don't understand me and I don't understand them."
His wife Sharon, the daughter of the late Jewish music impresario Don Arden, added: "Britain has the IRA and no one cancels concerts there."
Asked why it took him so long to arrive, Osbourne said, "I don't know, I was drunk for years."
A rock star that admits that he drinks, parties and doesn't have the foggiest idea about politics? That's a lot more honest than the many who believe that they have some Special Wisdom because they surround themselves with people who tell them they are geniuses.
How can a country with virtually not connection to human rights be a member of a formal body dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights around the world? Is that not similar to putting a wife-beater in charge of a women's shelter? Welcome to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the most hypocritical and shameful body of an institution that knows a thing or two about hypocrisy and shame; a body that makes the UN more meaningless than ever.
Incredibly, about 80% (!) of the Council's censures were devoted to Israel. This is an unbelievable figure: Meanwhile, tyrannies such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China and others were never condemned by the UNHRC. North Korea, one of the darkest regimes of the 21st century, was condemned once. Sudan, where genocide has been committed for years, was addressed in two UNHRC resolutions, none of which held the Sudanese government accountable (one actually praised it for its "progress" on human rights.)
On the other hand, Israel, a democracy that grants freedom, civil rights and human rights to all of its citizens, including minorities that belong to a people with whom Israel is involved in bitter conflict – is supposedly the worst human rights violator on earth, and in fact one of the only human rights violators altogether. This according to the UN sponsored wife-beater's best judgment.
[O]nly 20 of the 47 nations on the UNHRC are considered “free” by Freedom House, an independent NGO which monitors human rights and political freedoms. This means the majority of nations currently represented on the UNHRC do not allow basic freedoms for their own people, let alone concern themselves with global human rights.
ONE OF the root problems is the influence of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) within the UNHRC.
The UNHRC heavily weights membership on its council to nations from Africa and Asia – two continents where the OIC has considerable influence. The OIC controls the lion’s share of the world’s energy resources, including oil, gas and uranium.
The OIC and its allies have an automatic majority on the UNHRC, and this is represented in the council’s workload.
Human Rights Watch claims that the OIC has “fought doggedly” and successfully within the UN Human Rights Council to shield states from criticism, except when it comes to criticism of Israel. The OIC’s mantra has been that the council should work cooperatively with abusive governments rather than condemn them.
This has led to the absurd situation in which Israel is condemned 33 times by the UNHRC out of a total of 40 countryspecific condemnations, while the UNHRC expresses only “deep concern” over Sudan and praises its cooperation.
When the UNHRC discussed issues relating to the Second Lebanon War in 2006, four of the council’s independent experts reported the findings of their visit to Lebanon and Israel. State after state from the OIC took the floor to denounce the experts for daring to look beyond Israeli violations to discuss Hizbullah’s as well.
This sent a very clear message that experts filing reports for the UNHRC involving Israel should never look at the conduct of any other party. Justice Richard Goldstone understood this very well, as was reflected in the report he gave the UNHRC. In an interview given to Al Jazeera in 2009, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the OIC, explained how his organization not only initiated, but drove the Goldstone process from start to finish.
Israel is a democratic and law abiding country that carefully observes international law and, when need be, knows how to investigate itself. That is how Israel has always acted, and that is the way in which investigations were conducted following Operation Cast Lead, launched to protect the inhabitants of southern Israel from rockets and terror attacks carried out by Hamas from Gaza.
The Israeli investigation system, which conforms to all international standards, is being examined by the Turkel Committee, an independent panel with international observers. This committee is still carrying out its work.
In view of all this, as well as of the biased, politicized and extremist approach of the same Human Rights Council that had initiated the skewed Goldstone Report, Israel sees no reason to cooperate with this commission.
Israel will nonetheless read and study the report.
Unlike many anti-Semitic hypocrites in Europe or the USA, Chavistas don’t even bother to camouflage their Jew-hatred; it comes naked. Just take a look at Aporrea.org, their most important website, which is sponsored by the Venezuelan government. Use the searchword “judios” (Jews), and you will be amazed how similar the Venezuelan “socialism of the 21st century” and the German National Socialism of the 1930s are. In this article some examples will be given — which are perhaps not even the most bizarre ones (there are so many, and the race is really too close to call):
Pedro Mendez (“Judios, intrigantes y asesinos”) wants to prevent the Jews — who are “children of the father of lies,” according to his interpretation of the Bible — from “doing away with the race of the non-elect” and calls upon the world to unite against them before it´s too late. Likewise, Ivana Cardinale, a radio moderator from state radio station YVKE, is convinced that Jews view themselves as a “superior race,” treat non-Jews “like animals,” and aspire to control the world (“Palestina: Tierra robada por los judíos”).
Many Aporrea authors dispute the Holocaust (“Whether the Holocaust was real or an exaggeration is a pending issue”) or deny it outright, calling it a “myth” that the Jews designed in order to rule the world. When they speak about the “Holocaust” they mean the “Holocaust” that the Jews allegedly commit against the Arabs or, even more surprising, the one that the Venezuelan opposition tries to commit against the Chavistas: “They are fascists but we are not German Jews.” Evaristo Marcano Marin (“A cazar judios”) is a hunter: “To hunt a Jew should be a labor of peace and love. Every Jew you hunt down, catch him with a net of love and affection. Tell him that we humans know that they could also become humans and that if we achieve that noble purpose, they will be capable of: respecting, loving, feel solidarity with people, feel and love others. Tell him that those feelings exist and are part of some humans.”
Luis Rivero Badaracco, author of the article “Los Holocausteros,” mocks the victims of the Holocaust. “Why,” he wonders, had “the Jews (in the concentration camps) never rebelled?” There is “no evidence that they had ever rebelled,” he claims, and answers his silly question himself: “Jews are selfish.” They were thinking: “If I am good, I may be saved. To hell with the others.” As a “proof” he mentions the Jewish members of the Sonderkommandos: “The workers who brought the Jews to the gas chambers and collected the bodies were Jewish.” Who would give Mr. Badaracco — who, by the way, is a professor of agricultural engineering — some lessons in history? Maybe his Aporrea colleague James Petras (professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University), who calls Barack Obama “the first Jewish president of the USA“?
Under Chávez, Venezuela has turned into a madhouse where every anti-Semitic crank passes as a philosopher and fighter for social progress. Like the Nazis, the Chavistas associate the Jews with all the alleged evils of capitalism. They are perceived as a“dark force” that controls every part of the world economy.
Some of the propaganda can actually be described as incitement to genocide. This is best illustrated by the article “La Verdad sobre la Dominación Sionista: Genocidio Global Controlado y el ‘Armageddon’ Artificial” by Ever Pisani, director of the “Fundación Proyecto Libertador.”Mr Pisani starts with a paragraph about the “world today.” The decade began with the “collapse” of the World Trade Center, followed by the “sudden” and “mysterious” appearance of diseases like mad-cow disease, bird flu, and pig flu. Then came the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the financial crisis. Guess who is to blame for all the mess? Pisani knows.
...Of course, there are loonies in every country. But in Chavez’ Venezuela the hatred against Jews is endorsed by the government. “For the first time in recent history we see what I would call government sponsored anti-Semitism in a Western country,” says Sammy Eppel, a Jewish activist in Venezuela. In his notorious Christmas speech in 2005, Chávez deplored that “the descendants of those who crucified Christ … have taken ownership of the riches of the world.” Last year he called Colombia the “Israel of Latin America.” Police raids in Jewish schools foster a climate of fear and stigmatize Jews as the enemy of the “Bolivarian Revolution” — especially those Jews who dare to oppose the government.
This is worse than what one can find in any government sponsored Arab sites. Muslims at least pay lip service to Judaism being a "divine religion" and, for the past ten years or so, Arabs have made an effort to publicly distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism (often just a word-substitution.) But this Venezuelan anti-semitism is unfiltered and extremely dangerous.
Isn't it strange that a supposedly banned and dismantled group, anathema to the "new" law-and-order PA, is still alive and kicking? Or perhaps it means that Fatah is not quite as moderate as they pretend to be when speaking to Western reporters?
Egyptian security forces seized a cache of explosives in the Sinai Pensinsula on Sunday, security sources said.
...[O]fficers uncovered a weapons depot containing half a ton of TNT explosives and anti-aircraft shells. The ammunition was packaged in bags ready to be smuggled through underground tunnels into Gaza, sources said.
Given the number of caches Egypt has found, how many do you think they miss?
We mentioned for the first time in the last post who is behind the terrorist DDoS attacks and criminal hack of ArabCrunch blog. Now we will reveal more plots, as all these plots were designed to force ArabCrunch founder to become a CIA agent or remove him from the leadership position or get red of him in one way or another or destroy ArabCrunch with anyway, whether by blocking advertisers from advertising on AC so there are no revenues and we go bankrupt, or to the level of cutting the line of communications for ArabCrunch have with the outside the world, by manipulating our email on google ( we did not talk about Voice yet).
The CIA/Mossad and the global Zionist movement are ready to go at any level to destroy AC. The Zionist infiltration of United States of America is secret to too many Americans, they way they operate is no different than they way Banana republicz operates, control key power elements: Media, Economy then you control politics.
In 1997 the world news was Bill Clinton Monika Laynski Scandal, The US president was blackmailed by this young Jewish girl, she had her shirt with the “evidence” for 2 years! why? because she was a trap (card) to be used when needed.
he blackmail some say in USA was orchestrated by the Israeli Prime Minister Natneyaho, Monika is a member of an Israeli Party and when she went back to “Israel” she was greeted with flowers and roses as a hero who saved “Israel.”
The Mossad is always actively fresh for new recruits as a recent announcement reveled that they have succeed in recruiting a son of a Hamas leader. Mossad tries to recruits not just Hammas leaders but their direct family members. Not just that anyone they can. One of ArabCrunch fans who owns shares in one of the most poplar sites in USA has been facing several lawsuits.
We asked him if those are because of his support to AC, he said Yes extreme Israelis are behind this! The guy is not Muslim or Arab by the way!
ArabCrunch was in negotiations with a major hosting company in Texas: Softlayer, the hosting deal would bring salable server bandwidth to serve AC’s growing visits. We were waiting for this deal to happen because we had a deal with another company that would bring us 10s of millions of visits per month and potentially make us the number 1 blog or 2 in all categories ahead of Huffington Post. Negotiations with the hosting company took sometime and was about to close when we were close to close the deal, boom a private equity firm comes and acquires softlayer!!! And who is this private equity firm?
It is GI Partners a firm that has secured $4.0 billion of capital commitments on behalf of recognized institutional private equity and real estate investors in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
GI Partners is CIA front for its business, spy and military operations, GI Partners runs an imam program to brain wash Iraqi prisoners and destroy their well, a common tactic used before by clonal powers such as UK the program name is Russian and East European Partnerships (REEP) Inc., REEP/OSS Web site, also offers “intelligence support operations.”
That means not only the CIA and Mossad have access to our google email but the CIA have direct access to our server! Very nice! We mentioned before that the CIA and the Mossad had access to our email, now also confirmed: our server, We know that certain data that belong to us else where has been played with, and since there are thousands of files we do not know what else was added or deleted. Propably not just to fabricate crimes against AC’s founder and AC but also to wipe of any evidence of their transpasing!
Elsewhere in the report, we can see how much they twist easily verifiable facts as well.
Here is how they justify believing biased, lying "eyewitnesses" over actual video evidence:
20. In ascertaining the facts surrounding the Israeli interception of the Gaza-bound flotilla, the Mission gave particular weight to the direct evidence received from interviews with eye witnesses and crew, as well as the forensic evidence and interviews with government officials. In light of seizure of cameras, CCTV footage and digital media storage devices and of the suppression of that material with the disclosure only of a selected and minute quantity of it, the Mission was obliged to treat with extreme caution the versions released by the Israeli authorities where those versions did not coincide with the evidence of eyewitnesses who appeared before us.
So when witnesses said one thing and video evidence showed something completely different, they chose to believe the liars.
And how do we know that the witnesses are unreliable at best, and liars at worst? Why, the UNHRC admits it! In paragraph 114:
The Mission does not find it plausible that soldiers were holding their weapons and firing as they descended on the rope.
Why does the report even bring this up? Simple - because that's exactly what the very same "eyewitnesses" claimed, in contradiction to the video evidence released both by the IDF and by the activists themselves.
Paragraph 114 proves that the UNHRC knows that the witnesses are unreliable but even so they judge them to be more trustworthy than direct, clear video evidence!
Even so, the UNHRC expects us to believe that "live ammunition was used from the helicopter onto the top deck prior to the descent of the soldiers" - as if the IHH fighters would have been standing on deck, as sitting ducks, waiting to be picked off one by one before the IDF soldiers rappelled onto the deck. And that the helicopter was firing 9mm rounds onto the deck (all of the dead were killed by 9mm bullets.) And that the IDF soldiers would somehow have avoided firing their weapons as soon as they hit the deck and allowed themselves to be beaten up with metal clubs even though the IDF had, according to the UNHRC, already been using live fire. The entire narrative is utterly nonsensical.
The rule seems to have been, when the UNHRC had no direct and incontrovertible evidence that passengers were lying, they must have been telling the absolute truth, and that the veracity of the "eyewitnesses" were not the least bit harmed by proof that they were wrong.
Whenever Arabs accuse Israel of doing some crime, they are doing that exact crime, usually on a far grander scale than their accusations.
I just came across a perfect example of this rule, not by Arabs but by Muslims.
You know how Muslims like to accuse Israel of purposefully targeting Jewish interests in order to make Muslims look bad? Perhaps the example that has gained the most currency was the accusation that Zionists were behind a deadly synagogue bombing in Baghdad in 1951 in order to scare Iraqi Jews into leaving the country. That accusation was a lie.
A retired general who has recently been accused of having conducted an assassination attempt on the life of Turkey's eighth president, Turgut Özal, has inadvertently confessed that he ordered the burning of a mosque as part of psychological warfare operations in 1974.
In remarks published in the Haber Türk daily yesterday as part of an interview with Gen. Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu, who led the Special War Department in 1971 and also worked to mobilize civilian resistance during Turkey's military intervention on Cyprus in 1974, said: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent's incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example,” in an attempt to clear things up.
From Zvi: To be a credible authority on human rights topics, an organization of states must ensure that a state can only participate if it provides basic human rights for its people and extends the same concepts of human rights to others. So it must:
* provide freedom of speech, press, assembly and religion
* provide free markets
* provide one person-one-vote in free and fair elections
* provide rule of law and criminalize terrorism
* rid itself of laws that are racist and anti-Semitic
While there could be some gray areas, it is absolutely clear which types of regimes would need to be absolutely and vigorously excluded.
Any so-called "human rights commission" that includes Libya and Iran is simply a farce and has zero credibility in the human rights arena. Human rights NGOs should boycott it, and governments should disband it. It is worse than useless. Any so-called "human rights" attack written by Venezuela and Cuba simply erodes the credibility of all human rights resolutions (possibly by design).
Any "human rights" forum that gives equal membership to a brutal dictatorship like Libya and a free country like Canada is the wrong forum for any kind of human rights protection, legislation, reporting, expertise or condemnation. Thus, the UN, which in theory treats all nations more or less equally (except for Israel, of course) is ABSOLUTELY THE WRONG ORGANIZATION to be in charge of human rights activities of any kind.
A separate international commission or organization could be established, one whose membership constraints are specifically crafted to exclude dictatorships (if dictatorships wish to join, they must give up power and establish free democratic systems, which most will refuse to do). There is nothing wrong with a 2-tier system - tier 1 consisting of democratic states and tier 2 consisting of those states that insist on repression. After all, you want dictators to have incentives to grant freedom to their people. Only the free countries would have a voting place in any body that defends human rights. Only such a body would have any reasonable claim to credibility as a world human rights forum.
Regardless, it is certain that the UN cannot and will not function as a competent human rights policeman. The ability of dictators to dominate the UNHRC demonstrates why the UN is fundamentally flawed as a human rights defender. At an international level, it imposes the "tyranny of the majority" (or of the large aggressive unified bloc, anyway), providing no protection against persecution of minority states. It treats thugs and dictators who climb into their UN seats on the backs of countless millions of oppressed people as if they had any right to represent those people. And it treats every government or regime, whether it is the world's oldest or largest democracy or whether it is ruled by the world's most brutal and repressive junta or theocracy, as being identical in rights and privileges. And that is simply wrong.
Some might complain that the people of dictatorships have as much right to be represented fully in the UN as do the people of democratic states. And they would be right! But the sad fact is that the people living under dictatorships are not represented at all in the UN today; only their dictators are represented.
Some might complain that the UN should be there to represent all states, because a UN that does not offer first-class treatment to dictators will be unable to mediate when dictators are involved. And they are perhaps correct, in principle, but only where mediation and security is concerned. Such a function does not require that the UN provide Human Rights Commissions and Relief Works Agencies.
Unlike some, I generally support the existence of a (MORE LIMITED) UN. The world does need a structure that allows governments to coordinate certain kinds of security efforts in a manner that does not reinvent the wheel in every single crisis. This function has been useful at reducing the scope of wars in a highly complex global society. Sometimes even the ability of governments to bluster and act hypocritically has been useful in that regard. But the UNHRC, UNRWA and other purely political organizations that do nothing but perpetuate a 60+ year brutal attack on one small democratic country add nothing to the international system and must be eliminated.
While it is too late to "fix" the UN, it is not too late to deny it credibility in areas where it manifestly cannot be credible.
The MENA Region includes: Algeria | Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan
Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | SyriaTunisia | United Arab Emirates | West Bank and Gaza | Yemen
Israel is also in the pull-down menu of states of that region, where it wasn't before.
We had already posted at length a number of scholarly articles about the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. The UN Human Rights Council finds that it must completely make up new laws in order to accuse Israel of breaking them.
First, it accurately quotes San Remo to define what a legal blockade is:
51. Under the laws of armed conflict, a blockade is the prohibition of all commerce with a defined enemy coastline. A belligerent who has established a lawful blockade is entitled to enforce that blockade on the high seas.41 A blockade must satisfy a number of legal requirements, including: notification, effective and impartial enforcement and proportionality.42 In particular a blockade is illegal if:
(a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
(b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.43
So far, so good. But look what comes next:
52. A blockade may not continue to be enforced where it inflicts disproportionate damage on the civilian population. The usual meaning of “damage to the civilian population” in LOAC refers to deaths, injuries and property damage. Here the damage may be thought of as the destruction of the civilian economy and prevention of reconstruction of past damage. One might also note, insofar as many in Gaza face a shortage of food or the means to buy it, that the ordinary meaning of “starvation” under LOAC is simply to cause hunger.44
The bolded text is simply made up by the UNHRC and has zero to do with international law. There is nothing in international law that says that "destruction of the civilian economy and prevention of reconstruction of past damage" is illegal under the laws of blockade.
Even worse, the footnote that it cites says this:
C. Pilloud and J. Pictet, Commentary on the additional protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (International Committee of the Red Cross, 1987), p.53 para 2089. See also Oxford English Dictionary definitions: “to deprive of or keep scantily supplied with food” or to “subdue by famine or low diet”.
They quote Pilloud and Pictet as if they say that "starvation" means to "cause hunger." Yet Pilloud and Pictet actually say:
The UNHRC is deliberately misinterpreting its own footnoted material to accuse Israel of starving Gaza with the blockade.
Of course it doesn't mention the tons of food that arrive daily into Gaza via Israel itself, nor the fact that not a single Gazan has yet been documented to have starved to death in the past four years.
Since the UNHRC made up a specialized definition of the legality of a blockade, tailor made for Israel alone, it is no surprise that they conclude:
53. In evaluating the evidence submitted to the Mission, including by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, confirming the severe humanitarian situation in Gaza, the destruction of the economy and the prevention of reconstruction (as detailed above), the Mission is satisfied that the blockade was inflicting disproportionate damage upon the civilian population in the Gaza strip and as such the interception could not be justified and therefore has to be considered illegal.
The report goes on to the usual lies - claiming Gaza is occupied, saying that the IDF fired live ammunition from the helicopters before the first soldiers descended on the ship, and so forth. But here is a specific example where international law is being deliberately misinterpreted for the singular purpose of finding Israel guilty.
Matti Friedman, former AP journalist, spoke at a BICOM dinner in London on January 26. His speech is an absolute must-read. (h/t Alex) U...
Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.
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