We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Pimping Hamas Propaganda: BBC's Bowen Blows Khaled Meshaal's Trumpet

For the BBC's scandalously biased "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen, as for other employees of Britain's bloated left-leaning "national broadcaster" including members of Bowen's equally biased team, the Guardian and Ha'aretz are clearly the go-to newspapers for opinion pieces regarding Israel.

Those two newspapers typify, of course, the jaundiced opinions of the Beeboids (as the Biased BBC website terms the Corporation's hacks) themselves.

Bowen, Danahar, Donnison and the rest of the bunch can be relied upon to tweet and bignote (without any countervailing balance) articles in those papers that present Israel in a bad light.

Bowen and his cronies give far too much publicity to Ha'aretz, which is after all a newspaper with a comparably small circulation in its own country, and one widely despised by pro-Israel opinion as a propaganda rag that is helping to undermine and demonise Israel, especially Netanyahu's Israel,  abroad.

The BBC aids and abets that  undermining and demonising  by serving up to viewers, listeners, and, in particular,  Twitter followers, such partisan items as these (eyes, er, left) which appear among Bowen's currently visible tweets.

Not surprisingly, many people who do not share the Beeboids' hostility to Israel, people who believe that the BBC should honour its obligations to present news untainted by political slant,  half-truths, and factual errors, are fuming over its Today radio broadcast in which Khalid Meshaal of the genocidal terrorist group Hamas was allowed by Bowen to get away with propaganda and falsehoods.

See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32060613
 Thus (and this is not an April Fool's Day "joke"), under the headline 'Hamas leader Meshaal Warns of Israeli "extremism"after elections' we learn from the BBC:
'The political leader of the militant Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas says the results of Israel's elections will further diminish hopes for peace.
Khaled Meshaal told the BBC the victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and its right-wing allies meant there would be "more extremism".'
He said Hamas was not looking for any escalation, but would defend itself....
In an interview with BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen in Qatar, Mr Meshaal said attacks on Israel would continue "as long as there is occupation, aggression, war and killing". But he stressed that Hamas was "careful to respect international humanitarian law and to target only military targets.'
 And we also find (same page) "Analysis" from the execrable Bowen (remember this howler from him regarding the Muslim Brotherhood?):
 'Khaled Meshaal looked to be in good health. "Keep fit to keep on resisting," he joked before the interview.
He was noticeably slimmer than when we last met in Damascus, before he relocated to Doha with his staff. For years, President Bashar al-Assad gave Mr Meshaal an HQ and protection. But he said "when we were asked to side with the regime against the will of the people, we refused."
Most of the armed rebels in Syria are, like Hamas, Sunni Muslims. Mr Meshaal rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's accusation that Hamas was the same as the jihadist groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda, condemning them as un-Islamic.
He seemed to be calibrating his comments on the conflict with Israel to catch the prevailing mood of anger towards Mr Netanyahu in the White House, after his sharp turn to the ultra-nationalist Israeli Right in the last days of the election campaign.
Mr Meshaal called for a sovereign independent Palestinian state and an end to the occupation of land captured in the 1967 Middle East war. So did the White House chief of staff earlier this week.
The Palestinians, he asserted, had shown that they were "flexible, serious and keen to achieve a just and rightful peace".
"But Israel killed the peace process," he added, blaming Mr Netanyahu's outgoing government, along with "extremist forces" in Israel, for the collapse of the US-brokered direct negotiations last year.
"Israeli policies have always been bad, but today the Israeli Right is on the rise, and that produced Netanyahu's victory in the last election. So it is going to get more difficult and we will see more extremism in the Israeli mentality."'
Although Hamas has opposed years of on-off peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Mr Meshaal said he and the group had agreed to accept the boundaries which existed before the 1967 Middle East war as the basis for those of a future Palestinian state.
Mr Meshaal urged the international community to grant the Palestinians full recognition at the United Nations. He noted Mr Netanyahu's pre-election vow not to allow a Palestinian state, which was criticised by US President Barack Obama.
The Israeli leader has since insisted that he was not rejecting a two-state solution outright, but that he believed it was impossible right now.'
He cited the Palestinians' refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and last year's reconciliation deal between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas, as well as the rise of Islamist extremism in the region.
Following his re-election, Mr Netanyahu said: "Our hand is held out in peace to our Palestinian neighbours and the people of Israel know that real peace - and our future - will only be assured if Israel is strong."
In his interview, Mr Meshaal dismissed statements by Mr Netanyahu and others in Israel that compared Hamas to jihadist groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
 '"This is an obvious Israeli game," he said. "They are trying to be on the same page as the West and the US administration - that they are together in the 'War on Terror'."'Hamas, he added, was "an active resistance with a just cause, battling the occupier."
 "Others practice violence under the name of jihad, which we condemn. And this is not Islam. Islam encourages its followers to fight those who occupy their land and their sacred places. But Islam does not allow killing innocent people, civilians, or killing based on identity, belief and different views, political or religious."
(The above is also available here)

Prominent among the critics of this disturbing piece of propaganda for and from a genocidal terror organisation is Arnold Roth, whose fifteen-old-daughter Malki fell victim to terrorism in Jerusalem in 2001.

Begins Arnold Roth in an indignant, heartfelt post:
"Jeremy Bowen and his minders at the BBC today provides the sleek arch-terrorist Khaled Meshaal with an invaluable platform (not for the first time) for marketing the jihadist program of his outlawed Hamas terror organization to an international audience, safe from the threat of incisive or even semi-informed questions. Despotic, thuggish 'militant' terrorists world-wide must be green with envy."
 Read the rest of Arnold Roth's post here

And as someone has pointed out privately, Meshaal in this slimy, infuriating interview
"claimed to be following in the footsteps of World War Two resistance movements in Europe. Bowen did not point out that the various resistance movements did not go after the civilian population, the women and children, of the occupying power."
 Update: Don't miss BBC Watch's analysis of this latest outbreak of Bowenitis

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Benighted in Brighton: University of Sussex succumbs to BDS (& update re Southampton Uni Hatefest)

The University of Sussex is a seat of learning founded as the forerunner of several "new universities"  in the 1960s.   It managed to poach famous scholars from other universities and to say it was "flavour of the month" is to make an understatement.

Then, it seemed, anyone who was anyone wanted to go there, perhaps even in preference to Oxbridge, and certainly as a consolation for failing to gain admittance to either Oxford or Cambridge.

It was notoriously difficult to even secure an interview for admission, owing to the vast numbers of applicants.

Its initial intake of undergraduates included the famous "Jay Twins", daughters of the Labour Cabinet minister Douglas Jay, and that enhanced the publicity surrounding it.

It was once known (rightly or wrongly) for the numbers of Jews on campus as both academics and students.

And for the number of trendy lefties in its ranks.

It is now, according to a recent Jewish student there writing in Ha'aretz last year:
'a famously anti-Israel campus ...  [T]he atmosphere is definitely very anti-Israel'.
 Now, this campus near Brighton has joined the ranks of the BDSers.

Consequent upon a vote taken last week, its students' union is pledged to eschew all Israeli products, cultural and academic institutions, to lobbying the university to avoid cooperation with Israeli companies, and to abandon all investments in Israel.

Advises its website:

 The Students' Union should endorse the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel

Votes cast - 1292. Abstentions - 113

Yes - 806- 68%
No - 373 - 32%

The Students' Union will endorse the BDS movement against Israel.

The photos show some of the Israel-haters whooping it up in response to the announcement of the vote.

Compare this.

Breaking News:
To the signatories of the Zionist Federation's petition on Change.org:
Southampton Uni's Kangaroo Court Cancelled?
31 Mar 2015 — After weeks of pressure, this morning the organisers of Southampton University's anti-Israel conference released an astounding statement:
"It is with extreme astonishment and sadness that we have to inform you that the University of Southampton has told us earlier yesterday (Monday 30 March 2015) that it intends to withdraw its permission to hold the academic conference on International Law and the State of Israel."
(You can read the full statement here: http://freespeechsouthampton.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/update-from-organisers-31-march-it-is.html
As of yet, Southampton University have not released an statement on the matter, with the conference still officially being under review. If the event is cancelled, it will be a huge victory for all the thousands who have campaigned against this bigoted event.
But we're not finished yet. Over 6000 people have signed this petition, agreeing that it's not right or fair for Israel to be singled out in this way. It's not right or fair for the Jewish state to be found guilty of the "crime" of existing. And it's certainly not right or fair for extremists like Richard Falk, who peddle conspiracy theories and antisemitism, to welcome on campus.
That's why we're asking you for what we hope will be one last push, to show Southampton University how many people agree that this anti-Israel kangaroo court shouldn't go ahead.
So please, let's make sure this is the last time we ask: Share this petition!
 (No update so far on this petition)

Predictably the Israel-haters are marshalling; this, for instance, by an anti-Israel activist who just happens to be halachically Jewish:

Interesting post on Harry's Place here re the apparent cancellation, showing inter alia a dodgy comment regarding a "pound of flesh" ...

Monday, 30 March 2015

Obama ... Oy Vey!

This article by former US ambassador (2005-6) to the United Nations John Bolton has gone viral, and here's another that deserves a wide readership.

It concerns the Obama Administration's threat, following Bibi Netanyahu's return to power in Israel, to acquiesce in and even encourage recognition by the UN Security Council of a Palestinian State and the restriction of Israel to the pre-1967 lines.

Bolton writes in part:
'America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty. 
That is why Resolution 242’s “land for peace” formula, vague and elastic though it is, was acceptable to everyone in 1967: There were no hard and fast boundaries to fall back on, no longstanding historical precedents. Prior U.N. resolutions from the 1940s, for example, had all been overtaken by events. Only negotiation, if anything, could leave the parties content; externally imposed terms could only sow future conflicts. Hence, Resolution 242 does not call for a return to the prewar boundaries, but instead affirms the right of “every State in the area” to “secure and recognized boundaries.” Ignoring this fundamental reality is fantasy....
Obama is criticizing not just Netanyahu, but the very legitimacy of Israel’s democracy, giving an implicit green light to those prepared to act violently against it. ...
Whether one takes his or Netanyahu’s side, the administration’s approach is now squarely contrary to America’s larger strategic interests. And the global harm that will be done to common U.S. and Israeli interests through Security Council resolutions if Washington stands aside (or worse, joins in) will extend far beyond the terms of one prime minister and one president. ...'
See the entire article here

As Michael Comay, then Israel's ambassador to Britain, declared in 1970:
"The choice before us is not between victory and defeat, but between victory and annihilation.
 We therefore have not the slightest intention of allowing the re-creation of the conditions of vulnerability in which we found ourselves, abandoned and alone, in the summer of 1967."


The Swedish Disease

Significant elements in several Western countries – especially the United States, Great Britain, and Israel – believe their own governments to be repositories of evil, and see terrorism as just punishment for past sins. This "we have met the enemy and he is us" attitude replaces an effective response with appeasement, including a readiness to give up traditions and achievements.... 

Self-hating Westerners have an out-sized importance due to their prominent role as shapers of opinion in universities, the media, religious institutions, and the arts. They serve as the Islamists' auxiliary mujahideen.

So observed Daniel Pipes in 2006.

How the contagion continues to spread.  In Sweden, for example,
'Many former Marxists have become passionate Multiculturalists, so much so that we need to analyze what these doctrines have in common. How come so many white Marxists are aggressively hostile to their own civilization and almost seem to derive pleasure from the idea of wiping out their own people? Is Globalist Multiculturalism on some level a replacement Communism or is it in fact a direct continuation of Communism? In traditional Communism the “oppressive class” should be forced out of power, stripped of their assets and perhaps physically eliminated. If we assume that whites, and by that I mean people of European stock, are seen collectively as the “global oppressive class” who uphold the capitalist system and prevent a just world order, breaking down whites becomes the road to implement equality. Perhaps if traditional Communism put its emphasis on economic differences, this new form of Communism puts emphasis on breaking down cultural and genetic differences in order to achieve global equality. It could thus be thought of as cultural and genetic Communism.
If we assume that the ideology of Globalist Multiculturalism has totalitarian tendencies, we should remember that totalitarian ideologies usually have a Villain Class, a group of evil oppressors that can be blamed for all the ills of society. If the ruling ideology falls somewhat short of producing the Perfect Society it has promised, this will be followed by even more passionate attacks on the Villain Class, be that the Jews, the capitalists, the bourgeoisie, etc. The Villain Class of Multiculturalism seems to be European culture and persons who happen to be born with a white skin. Any problems will automatically be blamed on “white racism.” One of the hallmarks of a Villain Class is that its members can be verbally or even physically abused with impunity. The Villain Class is subject to public scorn and has de facto or de jure less legal protection than other groups.
The radical feminist Joanna Rytel wrote an article called “I Will Never Give Birth to a White Man,” for the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, stating things such as “no white men, please… I just puke on them.” After receiving a complaint because of this, Swedish state prosecutor Göran Lambertz explained why this didn’t qualify as racism: “The purpose behind the law against incitement of ethnic hatred was to ensure legal protection for minority groups of different compositions and followers of different religions. Cases where people express themselves in a critical or derogatory way about men of ethnic Swedish background were not intended to be included in this law.”
In 2006, Chancellor of Justice Göran Lambertz discontinued his preliminary investigation regarding anti-Semitism at the great mosque in Stockholm. He wrote that “the lecture at hand contains statements that are strongly degrading to Jews, among other things, they are throughout called brothers of apes and pigs.” Furthermore a curse is expressed over the Jews and “Jihad is called for, to kill the Jews, whereby suicide bombers — celebrated as martyrs — are the most effective weapon.” Lambertz thought that the “recently mentioned statements in spite of their contents are not to be considered incitement against an ethnic group according to Swedish law.” His conclusions were that the preliminary investigation should be discontinued because this incitement against Jews could be said to originate from the Middle East conflict.
It is illegal to suggest that certain groups are worse than others. If you criticize oppression of women, you should be careful to state that all men are equally bad and that Western men are at least as bad as Muslim men. The Marxist politician (from the “reformed” Communists) Gudrun Schyman in a 2002 speech posited that Swedish men were just like the extremely brutal Islamic Taliban regime. A male columnist in newspaper Aftonbladet immediately agreed with her: Yes, Western men are like the Taliban.


A note to Ms. Schyman: A feminist culture will eventually be squashed because the men have either become too demoralized and weakened to protect their women, or because they have become fed-up with incessant ridicule. If Western men are pigs and “just like the Taliban” no matter what we do, why bother? Western women will then be squashed by more aggressive men from other cultures (whom women often voted to let in because of their “kind and compassionate” Socialist sympathies), which is exactly what is happening in Western Europe now. The irony is that when women launched the Second Wave of Feminism in the 1960s and 70s, they were reasonably safe and, in my view, not very oppressed. When the long-term effects of feminism finally set in, Western women may very well end up being genuinely oppressed under the boot of Islam. Radical feminism thus leads to oppression of women.
In 2005, a TV program which caused some stir quoted Irene von Wachenfeldt, chairwoman of ROKS, The National Organization for Women’s Shelters, as saying: “…when war breaks out, it is fully ok to use violence openly. I sometimes say that we are involved in a civil world war, a gender war. Men are animals.” In the organization’s magazine, the extreme feminist Valeria Solana was hailed in a review. She writes in her manifesto: “To call a man an animal is to flatter him: He is a machine, a walking dildo, a biological mishap.” In the TV documentary, Irene von Wachenfelt was asked whether she agreed with Solana, and she did. ROKS has received millions in public funding.
In Sweden, you cannot say that certain ethnic groups are more involved in crime than others. That’s hateful and banned by law. But you can say that all men are animals, and you will get state support for doing so. You can also belittle the traditional culture of the natives. This is not just allowed but encouraged. As mentioned before, the “conservative” Prime Minister Reinfeldt has stated that the native culture was merely barbarism and that everything good has been imported from abroad. Had a public figure said something similar about the culture of an immigrant group, he or she would have had to resign immediately and most likely would have faced a trial for hate speech and racism.
Jonathan Friedman, an American Jew living in Sweden, mentions that the so-called Integration Act from 1997, two years after Sweden joined the European Union, proclaimed that “Sweden is a Multicultural society.” The Act implicitly states that Sweden doesn’t have a history, only the various ethnic groups that live there now. Native Swedes have formally been reduced to just another ethnic group, with no more claims to the country than the Iraqis who arrived there last Thursday. As Friedman puts it, “it’s almost as if the state has sided with the immigrants against the Swedish working class.”
“Exit Folkhemssverige - En samhällsmodells sönderfall“ (Exit the People’s Home of Sweden — The Downfall of a Model of Society) is a book from 2005 about immigration and the welfare state model called “the people’s home,” written by Jonathan Friedman, Ingrid Björkman, Jan Elfverson and Åke Wedin. According to them, the Multicultural elites see themselves first of all as citizens of the world. In order to emphasize and accentuate “diversity,” everything associated with the native culture is deliberately disparaged. Opposition to this is considered racism: “The dominant ideology in Sweden, which has been made dominant by powerful methods of silencing and repression, is a totalitarian ideology, where the elites oppose the national aspect of the nation state. The problem is that the ethnic group that are described as Swedes implicitly are considered to be nationalists, and thereby are viewed as racists.”
Jens Orback, Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality from the Social Democratic Party said during a debate in Swedish radio in 2004 that “We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.”
This was a government which knew perfectly well that their people risked becoming a minority in their own country, yet did nothing to stop this. ...'
 Read much much more here

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Islamic Supremacism, Iran, Saudi Arabia, The Bomb, & Obama's Attitude To Israel

 Here's the urbane Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about Iran's nuclear capability and about Yemen, but understandably not giving much away:

It's perhaps best to view this interview of Jamie Glazov with scholar Daniel Greenfield, alter ago of blogger  "Sultan Knish", with a stiff whisky or three at the ready:

Incidentally the translation of the poster in the picture below concerning Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen reflects the honest translation of "Allahu Akhbar",  the true meaning of which Greenfield discusses in the first part of the video, which refers to his post here, in which he states inter alia:
'Allahu Akbar doesn't mean Allah is Great, in a "Isn't 'Allah and the Virgins of Paradise' a great band". It's more like Allah is Greatest or Superior. And if you're on the right side of the cockpit door, the one doing the shouting 'Allahu Akbar' means that Allah is superior to your country and to you. And one of his followers is about to do his best to show you why.
 The tactic of Islamic propagandists and their Western enablers has been to mainstream and normalize. In their translations, "Allahu Akbar" becomes "God is Great". Not Allah, but God. And not Greater, but Great. The differences are significant. Every news story takes great care to explain that ...Allahu Akbar ... is a common Arabic phrase shouted at various occasions. Which is true. Muslims don't just shout Allahu Akbar when they're killing people. The problem is that they do shout Allahu Akbar when they are killing people. And that shout reveals motive...."
From http://vladtepesblog.com/
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog

Oh, and here's Ben Shapiro:

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Amnesty International Slams Palestinian War Crimes in Gaza

In a press release dated today (26 March) Amnesty International advises:
'Palestinian armed groups displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians by repeatedly launching indiscriminate rockets and mortars towards civilian areas in Israel during the conflict in July and August 2014, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.
Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict provides evidence that several attacks launched from inside the Gaza Strip amount to war crimes. Six civilians in Israel, including a four-year-old boy, were killed in such attacks during the 50-day conflict. In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian attack, 11 children were among 13 Palestinian civilians killed when a projectile fired from within the Gaza Strip landed in the al-Shati refugee camp.
“Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians. In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
All the rockets used by Palestinian armed groups are unguided projectiles which cannot be accurately aimed at specific targets and are inherently indiscriminate; using such weapons is prohibited under international law and their use constitutes a war crime. Mortars are also imprecise munitions and should never be used to attack military targets located in or near civilian areas.
“Palestinian armed groups must end all direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks. They must also take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip from the effects of such attacks. This includes taking all possible measures to avoid locating fighters and arms within or near densely populated areas,” said Philip Luther.
And now, in Gaza, opportunities for women grow (read about it here)
At least 1,585 Palestinian civilians, including more than 530 children, were killed in Gaza, and at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks during the conflict, some of which also amounted to war crimes.
“The devastating impact of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians during the conflict is undeniable, but violations by one side in a conflict can never justify violations by their opponents,” said Philip Luther.
“The fact that Palestinian armed groups appear to have carried out war crimes by firing indiscriminate rockets and mortars does not absolve the Israeli forces from their obligations under international humanitarian law. The war wrought an unprecedented level of death, destruction and injury on the 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip, and some of the Israeli attacks must be investigated as war crimes.
“The Israeli and Palestinian authorities must both co-operate with the probes of the UN Commission of Inquiry and the International Criminal Court to end decades of impunity that have perpetuated a cycle of violations in which civilians on both sides have paid a heavy price.”
According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel during the conflict. Out of the thousands of rockets and mortars fired, around 224 are estimated to have struck Israeli residential areas, as Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted many others.
The death of Daniel Tregerman, a four-year-old boy, on 22 August 2014 clearly illustrates the tragic consequences of using imprecise weapons such as mortars on civilian areas. His family had fled their home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz because of the fighting but returned the day before he was killed. Moments after the alarm sirens went off, a mortar launched from Gaza struck the family car parked outside the house. Daniel’s little sister who was also present watched him die before her eyes.
“My husband and son were in the living room and I was yelling for them to come into the shelter. Shrapnel [from the mortar] entered Daniel’s head, killing him immediately,” his mother, Gila Tregerman, told Amnesty International.
Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The briefing also highlights the Israeli authorities’ failure to adequately protect civilians in vulnerable communities during the conflict, particularly Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region, many of which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government. Ouda Jumi’an al-Waj was killed by a rocket that struck the Bedouin village of Qasr al-Sir near the Israeli city of Dimona on 19 July.
Most Bedouin villages are classified as non-residential “open areas” by the Israeli authorities, so the Iron Dome system to intercept rockets does not operate there and there are no bomb shelters. More than 100,000 people live in Bedouin villages in southern Israel.
“Civilians living in Bedouin villages during the conflict were left vulnerable and exposed, one manifestation of the discrimination they face on a daily basis. The Israeli authorities must ensure everyone is given equal protection,” said Philip Luther.
Other civilians killed by attacks launched in Gaza included an agricultural worker from Thailand, Narakorn Kittiyangkul, who was killed when a mortar struck the tomato farm in southern Israel where he was working. Ze’ev Etzion and Shahar Melamed were killed in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nirim on 26 August.
In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians – 11 of them children – were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza on 28 July 2014, the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
The children had been playing in the street and buying crisps and soft drinks in the supermarket at the time of the attack.
Although Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military was responsible for the attack, an independent munitions expert who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket.
“Evidence suggesting that a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group may have caused 13 civilian deaths inside Gaza just underscores how indiscriminate these weapons can be and the dreadful consequences of using them,” said Philip Luther.
Mahmoud Abu Shaqfa and his five-year-old son Khaled were seriously wounded in the attack. His eight-year-old son Muhammad was killed. “The rocket fell near the car… The whole car was pierced by shrapnel. A piece of shrapnel pierced me… My son [Khaled] came to me. He was screaming ‘Daddy get up, get up…’ My entire leg was torn open and my arm had been wrenched to my back.”
There are no bomb shelters or warning systems in place to protect civilians in Gaza.
The report also details other violations of international humanitarian law by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, such as storing rockets and other munitions in civilian buildings, including UN schools, and cases where Palestinian armed groups launched attacks or stored munitions very near locations where hundreds of displaced civilians were taking shelter.
“The international community must help prevent further violations by tackling entrenched impunity and by ending transfers to Palestinian armed groups and Israel of all arms and military equipment that could be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther.
Amnesty International is calling on all states to support the UN Commission of Inquiry and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over crimes committed by all parties to the conflict.'  [Emphasis added]
 Read the full report in English here  https://www.amnesty.org/…/Documents/MDE2111782015ENGLISH.PDF

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Why The "Two State Solution" Has Gone Nowhere: David Singer Explains

Here, entitled "Palestine: Words Matter – But Their Meaning Matters More," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

"Words matter," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters this week.

Regrettably Earnest was being less than earnest in failing to point out that words can also have several meanings – which can result in people failing to actually communicate with each other because each has a different understanding of the words he is using.

As a lawyer with extensive experience in drafting agreements – I have found the most critical part in any agreement is the definition of terms used in those agreements – so that the parties are in no doubt at all as to the meaning of the words they are using.

The so-called “Two State Solution” has gone nowhere in the last 20 years for precisely this reason.

The parties to the negotiations – including America on its own and as part of the Quartet – have been talking at cross purposes without first agreeing on the meaning of the terms they are using.

Take the following terms –  and their suggested possible definitions:

1. “Palestine” – means “the territory known today as Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan being the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine dated 24 July 1922.”
2. “Palestinians” – means
(i) “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there.
(ii) Anyone born after 1947 of a father qualifying as a Palestinian under paragraph (i) - whether inside Palestine or outside it”
3. “West Bank” – means “the term used since 1950 to refer to the territory known as “Judea and Samaria” since biblical times and comprising the territory that came under Israeli military government control in 1967”
4. Oslo Accords 1 – means Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or short Declaration of Principles(DOP) dated 13 September 1993
5. “Oslo Accords II - means Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip commonly known as Oslo II or Oslo 2 dated 25 September 1995
6. “Oslo Accords” means “Oslo Accords I” and “Oslo Accords II”
7. “Bush Roadmap” means – “the two-state solution”
8. “Two-State solution” – means “the Performance Based Roadmap To A Permanent Two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June 2003, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July 2003 and 17 September 2003 Quartet Ministerial statements.”
9. “Quartet” means “America, European Union (EU), Russia and the United Nations(UN)”
10. “Jerusalem” means “all of the area that is described in the appendix of the proclamation expanding the borders of municipal Jerusalem beginning the 20th of Sivan 5727 (June 28, 1967), as was given according to the Cities' Ordinance.”
11. “Palestinian Authority” means “The Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 following Oslo Accords 1 and disbanded on 3 January 2013”.
To the legally uninitiated this may sound like a lot of detailed, unnecessary and technical drafting – but its purpose is quite clear – to ensure when the parties to this dispute use any of the above terms  their meaning is unmistakeably clear.

The proof is in the pudding.

Do President Obama and his Press Secretary – Josh Earnest – agree with the above definitions when they utter these commonly used terms almost daily?

Do Israel’s Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agree with these definitions?

Do the media? Do you?

If indeed there is any disagreement – then the parties need to first reach agreement on their meaning – before they can even think of talking to each other.

Unless everyone is singing from the same hymn book the music will sound frightfully discordant.