Criminal State • by Jeff Gates
Online reports of a study by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency cast doubt over the survival of Israel beyond the next two decades. Regardless of the validity of the report, with what is now known about the costs in blood and treasure that the U.S.-Israeli relationship has imposed on the U.S., its key ally, Israel could fall within five years. For more than six decades, American support for Israel has relied on the ability of pro-Israelis to dominate U.S. media, enabling Tel Aviv to put a positive spin on even its most extreme behavior, including its recent massacre in Gaza. With access to online news coverage, that Zionist bias is becoming apparent and the real facts transparent. Though Americans seldom show a strong interest in foreign affairs that too is changing. While few of them grasp the subtleties of one-state versus two-state proposals, many have seen online the impact of a murderous Israeli assault on Palestinian civilians that was timed between Christmas and the inauguration of Barack Obama.
The leaders of the 9-11 Commission acknowledged that its members would not allow testimony on the impetus for that attack. Yet the report confirmed that the key motivation was the U.S.-Israeli relationship. With access to online news, more Americans are asking why they are forced to support a colonial Apartheid government. With the election of yet another extremist Israeli government led by yet another right-wing Likud Party stalwart, it’s clear that Tel Aviv intends to preclude peace by continuing to build more settlements. With that stance, Continue reading
Minors who commit crimes in retaliation to the unbearable suffering from their pimps involved in horrendous crimes of ‘human trafficking’, have been receiving life sentences without parole, irrespective of their age between 11 years to 16 years. It is proper to send them to juvenile homes to reform themselves with due help. Many countries have brought such amendments to their penal systems, though they are insufficient in taking proper care. It seems the most advanced country the US is still comfortable with age old feudal penal systems.
WW4 | Tue, 27/10/2009 | 02:19
Amnesty International has accused Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies. These unreasonably restrict the availability of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and prevent the Palestinians developing an effective water infrastructure there. “Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank, while the unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies. In Gaza the Israeli blockade has made an already dire situation worse,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s researcher on Israel and the OPT. In a new extensive report [“Troubled Waters: Palestinians denied fair access to water”], Amnesty International revealed the extent to which Israel’s discriminatory water policies and practices are denying Palestinians their right to access to water. Israel uses more than 80% of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 percent. The Mountain Aquifer is the only source for water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but only one of several for Israel, which also takes for itself all the water available from the Jordan River. Continue reading
Counterpunch | October 15, 2009 | RAMZY BAROUD
As Israeli bombs fell on the Gaza Strip during its one-sided war between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, millions around the world took to the streets in complete and uncompromising outrage. The level of barbarity in that war, especially as it was conducted against a poor, defenseless and physically trapped nation, united people of every color, race and religion. But among those who seemed utterly unmoved, unreservedly cold were some Palestinian officials in the West Bank. Mahmoud Habbash, the PA Minister of Social Affairs is but one of those individuals. His appearances on Aljazeera, during those fateful days were many. On one half of the screen would be screaming, disfigured children, mutilated women, and search parties digging in the dark for dead bodies, at times entire families. On the other, was Habbash, spewing political insults at his Hamas rivals in Gaza, repeating the same message so tirelessly parroted by his Israeli colleagues? Every time his face appeared on the screen, I cringed. His every unruly shriek reinforced my sense of shame. It’s Shame, perhaps, but never confusion. Those who understand how the Oslo agreement of September 1993 morphed into a culture that destroyed the very fabric of Palestinian society can fully appreciate the behavior of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank during the Gaza war, before it and today. Continue reading
IANS | Robert Berger Jerusalem | 17 October 2009
Israel is facing growing international pressure after the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the Goldstone Report, which accuses the Jewish state of war crimes against Palestinians. The Goldstone Report also accuses Palestinian militants of war crimes during the Gaza conflict of nearly a year ago.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to cooperate with the Goldstone Report. They urged Israel to open an “independent, transparent investigation” into alleged war crimes during the three-week Gaza conflict last December and January. The resolution by the Human Rights Council endorses the Goldstone Report’s recommendations that both the Israelis and Palestinian militants show the U.N. Security Council they are investigating the war crimes accusations. Israel has rejected the report as one-sided and biased and says the Gaza war was a legitimate act of self defense in response to years of Palestinian rocket attacks. Israeli officials say opening a war crimes investigation would be tantamount to accepting guilt.
But Israeli David Horovitz, the editor of the Jerusalem Post, says defiance may be counterproductive. “I would have thought the last thing Israel can afford to do is to try to simply ignore it,” he said. “There has to be some kind of intelligent response, even though the national sense of justice and pride motivates many, I think, in the Israeli leadership to say, ‘This is just so unfair, so clearly prejudiced, that we do not want to justify it or honor it by responding.’ I don’t think Israel can afford to do that.” Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti says Israel should be held accountable, and he called for international war crimes trials. “Those who committed crimes like killing children for no reason, who hurt civilians for no reason, yes; anybody who kills children for no reason should go to court,” he said. Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered officials to prepare for a long diplomatic, legal and public relations battle explaining Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism. As Mr. Netanyahu put it, “We will delegitimize those who try to delegitimize us.”
An Israeli army artillery battery fires a smoke bomb into the Gaza Strip from the border, 06 Jan 2009
Oct 8th 2009 | RAMALLAH | The Economist
IT WAS all going so well for the veteran leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas (pictured above). The president and his Fatah party were enjoying a surge in popular support due to the improved security situation and better economic growth on the West Bank; his leadership appeared even stronger after the successful convening of the first party congress for 20 years in Bethlehem in August. Until, that is, the Palestinian mission to the United Nations dropped its endorsement of the Goldstone report on Israel’s assault against Gaza at the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, on October 1st. Since then, Mr. Abbas has faced an unprecedented barrage of criticism, often from his closest allies. Indeed, his vacillations over how to respond to the report could have done his standing grave damage. Originally, the Palestinians had planned to present a draft resolution in Geneva demanding that the report be submitted for discussion at the Security Council, which has the power to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute people for war crimes. Instead, however, the Palestinians agreed to postpone a vote of support for the report until March 2010. People close to Mr. Abbas say that the Palestinians backed off from endorsing the report under pressure from America, which has adopted Israel’s stance that any diplomatic initiative based on the controversial report will deal a death-blow to the peace process. Russia and China are also said to have been reluctant to see more debate of the report. Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2009/10/16 | 17:07:58 GMT
The UN Human Rights Council has backed a report into the Israeli offensive in Gaza that accuses both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes. The report by Richard Goldstone calls for credible investigations by Israel and Hamas, and suggests international war crimes prosecutions if they do not. Twenty-five countries voted for the resolution, while six were against. Both Israel and the US opposed official endorsement of the report, saying it would set back Middle East peace hopes. The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism. Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 Gazans were killed in the 22-day conflict that ended in January, but Israel puts the figure at 1,166. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed.
‘Culture of impunity’
Before the vote in Geneva – in which 11 countries abstained and five others, including the UK and France, chose not to vote – the Palestinian Authority’s representative argued that the matter was simply about respect for the rule of law. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, meanwhile insisted that now was the time to end the “culture of impunity” which continues to prevail in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In contrast, the Israeli government had lobbied intensively against the resolution, saying the Goldstone report was biased against Israel and removed the right of nations to defend themselves against terrorists. It also complained that the vote was not simply on the Goldstone report, but on a Palestinian-backed resolution that criticised Israel and ignored Hamas. The resolution also made Continue reading
BBC NEWS | Barbara Plett | BBC UN correspondent, New York | 2009/09/16 | 03:52:06 GMT
A UN investigation has recommended a process that could land Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The probe, headed by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, concludes that Israel “committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during its Gaza offensive in December last year. It asks the UN Security Council to call on Israel to conduct “appropriate investigations,” to monitor them, and to refer the matter to the ICC if they’re deemed not to meet international standards. The report found that the firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups also amounted to war crimes, and called for a similar process of accountability for the Gaza authorities. But the 34-page summary devoted much less space to the Palestinian violations, and particularly slammed what it called Israel’s disproportionate use of force.
UN chief ‘reluctant’
Despite the strong conclusions, there is skepticism here about how far these recommendations will go – indeed whether the matter will even get on to the UN Security Council’s agenda. The first step is for the UN’s Human Rights Council which commissioned Mr. Goldstone’s fact-finding mission to request UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to bring the matter to the attention of the UN Security Council. When asked whether he would do so, Mr. Ban avoided answering the question directly, instead expressing support for Mr. Goldstone’s report. “I Continue reading
“The Hindu” has been largely regarded as unbiased News Paper since inception in India. It carries a front page news Item on UN report on “Deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians during war”.
Wed, Sep 9 12:54 PM | Indo Asian News Service
Kuala Lumpur, Sep 9 (DPA) Malaysian immigration officials Tuesday discovered a major human trafficking syndicate when authorities detained 116 Indian and Sri Lankan citizens believed to be headed for Indonesia en route to Australia, news reports said. The men and women, aged between seven months and 50 years, were staying at an apartment in the southern state of Johor, said state immigration deputy director Muhammad Ali Abdullah. ‘More than 20 rooms were occupied by the foreigners, believed to be rented by smuggling agents. It is believed that three of the agents were also living at the place but they escaped during the raid,’ Muhammad Ali was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency. Some of the foreigners had entered the country a month ago, and had been living in the apartment to await their journey to Australia, via Indonesia, he said. All of the detainees were sent to an illegal immigrant detention centre in the state pending investigations, the report said. In June, the US put Malaysia back on its list of countries suspected of not doing enough to combat human trafficking, along together with six African countries: Chad, Eritrea, Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The Malaysian government says it strongly opposes people-smuggling and appealed for cooperation from neighbouring countries to help stop the trade along its long and porous coastlines.