Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Category

Surprise: UK Minister Accuses Israel of ‘War Crimes’ Over Planned Settlement Expansions

December 28, 2012

Dec 28, 2012

Conservative British Minister has suggested that the Israeli regime is a war criminal for planning expansion of illegal settlements in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and conferring university status to a college in the illegal settlement of Ariel.

The regime announced on December 24 that it is planning new illegal settlements in the Mordot Gilo South adding Ariel College will be upgraded to university status effectively creating the first university in an illegal settlement.

A positive step: British Foreign Minister for Middle East Alistair Burt breaks ranks condemning Israeli policy.

“Last week Foreign Secretary William Hague made clear our condemnation and deep disappointment at the approval of the East Jerusalem Ramat Shlomo plan. We also condemn the Jerusalem District Planning Board’s approvals for over 3150 units in Givaat Hamatos and 1242 units in Mordot Gilo South,” British Foreign Minister for Middle East Alistair Burt said.

“These are further profoundly provocative actions that run contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he added.

Burt also said that the Ariel College decision is “deeply disappointing” and called on Tel Aviv to stop such measures.

“We reiterate our call on Israel urgently to reverse these decisions and take no further steps aimed at expanding or entrenching settlement activity,” he said.

Burt’s remarks are and the reference to breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention are yet the harshest tone employed by a British official against the Zionist regime.

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, commonly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention require all occupiers to avoid transferring parts of their population into occupied territories.

Burt’s comments expose the growing international unease against the Israeli regime’s illegal settlement-building in Palestinian lands to the point that a western government has been forced to admit what human rights activists have been long trying to highlight, that is the Israeli regime’s settlement-building is a war crime.

Source: Press TV

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South Africa’s ANC Makes Support for Israel Boycott Its Official Policy

December 22, 2012

For the first time ever, the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, today made the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel part of its official policy.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa said the decision “by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making body, is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”

In a press release sent out by email, BDS South Africa explained:

In October 2012, the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference (ISC) declared its full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.

Today, Lindiwe Zulu (member of the ANC’s International Relations Sub-Committee and special advisor to President Jacob Zuma) announced at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference plenary session, the ANC’s official endorsement, as captured in Resolution 39 (b), of the ANC’s October International Solidarity Conference (ISC) and all its resolutions, which includes a resolution on BDS. Giving muscle to resolution 39 (b), the ANC has committed to set up a steering committee to implement these ISC resolutions.

In addition, the ANC adopted resolution 35 (g) that specifically called for “all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution.”

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US Alone in Blocking UN Resolution Opposing New Israeli Settlements

December 20, 2012

But for US veto, Security Council would have passed legally binding resolution obligating Israel to stop settlement plan

The United States was alone on Wednesday when all other 14 members of the UN Security Council condemned Israeli settlement plans in Jerusalem after abandoning a legally binding resolution because of an imminent US veto.

The Security Council would have passed a legally binding resolution obligating Israel to refrain from building settlements in the  controversial area of East Jerusalem known as E1, which was a punitive attempt to nullify a contiguous Palestinian state following the successful UN-bid for implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood this month.

Instead, the council members decided to simply make statements condemning the settlement plans.

India’s U.N. ambassador, Hardeep Singh Puri, explained the process: “Consultations (on a resolution) were held amongst the members of the council and an attempt was made…(to see) if the 15th member could be accommodated,” said Puri, referring to the United States.

“But when we came to the conclusion that that was not likely to happen… it was felt that Plan B – which is what this is essentially – was for members of the council to come out individually and in groupings to make statements,” he said.

While the US has come out to criticize the new Israeli settlement plans, which are patently illegal and which are widely seen as dooming a two-state solution, they could not be brought to join the rest of the Security Council and block the plans.

The US also blocked a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in February of last year.

Washington continues to aid and abet Israel’s continuing, slow annexation of the West Bank through military occupation, demolishing Palestinian homes, and building up Jewish settlements in their place.

Source: Antiwar.com

Settlements Snarl: ‘Israel gambles on US protection from intl law’

December 18, 2012

Israel says it will go ahead with plans to build 1500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem – the part of the city that’s considered Palestinian land.

The project was given an intermediate green light by Israeli officials on Monday. This comes less then a month after the UN granted Palestine non-member observer status. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and are promising to raise the issue at a Security Council meeting. Author and historian Gerald Horne says that with Palestine’s recent upgrade, Israel’s playing a risky game.

‘Useless, useless, useless’: the Palestinian verdict on Tony Blair

December 17, 2012

Former Prime Minister’s role as representative of Middle East Quartet comes in for fiercest criticism

MATTHEW KALMAN
The Independent 
Dec 17, 2012 

Palestinian officials say Tony Blair shouldn’t take it personally, but he should pack up his desk at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem and go home. They say his job, and the body he represents, are “useless, useless, useless”.

Mr Blair became the representative of the Middle East Quartet – the UN, EU, US and Russia – a few weeks after leaving Downing Street. Last week, he visited the region for what he said was the 90th time since being appointed in June 2007. He spends one week a month based in Jerusalem or globetrotting on behalf of the Quartet. His office is funded by the Quartet members and his 24-hour security detail is on secondment from Scotland Yard but he receives no direct salary.

After four years of renting 15 rooms at the American Colony Hotel for his full-time staff, Mr Blair put down more permanent roots in 2011 by renting the penthouse of a new office building in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

Tony Blair

But senior Palestinian officials and analysts told The Independent the move was unnecessary – his sojourn in the region should be cut short. “The Quartet has been useless, useless, useless,” Mohammed Shtayyeh, an aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said last week. He suggested that its constant need to reach internal consensus among its warring participants had rendered it ineffective.

“Always the statement of the Quartet really means nothing because it was always full of what they call constructive ambiguity that really took us to nowhere,” said Mr Shtayyeh, who had just ended a meeting with Mr Blair. “You need a mediator who is ready to engage and who is ready to say to the party who is destroying the peace process ‘You are responsible for it’,” he said.

Mr Shtayyeh is not alone. Last February, the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution pronounced the body already dead in a report bluntly entitled The Middle East Quartet: A Post-Mortem.

“The Quartet has little to show for its decade-long involvement in the peace process. Israelis and Palestinians are no closer to resolving the conflict, and in the few instances in which political negotiations did take place, the Quartet’s role was usually relegated to that of a political bystander,” said the report. “Having spent most of the last three years in a state of near paralysis, and having failed to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking UN membership and recognition in September 2011, the Quartet has finally reached the limits of its utility.

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Young Israelis Fight for Social Justice

December 10, 2012

VICE MAG IN PALESTINE…

“In the lead up to the one-year anniversary of the biggest protest in Israel’s history, we get tear-gassed by the IDF in the West Bank, and then we have drinks with a spokesperson for the Israeli protest movement…”

Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal Says Group Will Never Recognize Israel

December 10, 2012

Washington Post
Joel Greenburg

JERUSALEM — In a fiery speech Saturday before a mammoth rally in Gaza City marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, the political leader of the militant Islamist group, pledged that it would never recognize Israel and called for an Islamic Palestinian state on the territory of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Meshal spoke during his first visit to Gaza, a triumphant tour after a recent eight-day warbetween Hamas and Israel, and 15 years after he survived an Israeli assassination attempt in Jordan.

A sea of green flags filled Katiba Square in Gaza City as Meshal and the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, walked out of a giant replica of a long-range Hamas M-75 rocket set up on a stage with a mock-up of the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Tens of thousands gathered for what was billed as both an anniversary and a victory celebration after last month’s conflict, during which Hamas fired rockets toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Meshal, who has led Hamas from exile, used the occasion to reiterate the group’s long-held principles, calling for “armed resistance” to eliminate Israel.

“Palestine, from the river to the sea, from north to south, is our land,” Meshal said, “Not an inch of it can be conceded.”

“We cannot recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation of Palestine,” he said. “There is no legitimacy to occupation, and therefore no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”

“Liberating Palestine, all of Palestine, is a duty, a right and a goal,” he added.

As for Jerusalem, “we will liberate it inch by inch, stone by stone, Islamic and Christian holy places,” he said. “Israel has no right in Jerusalem.”

The recent recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations was a “small step but a good one,” Meshal said, but he asserted that armed action took precedence over diplomacy.

“Liberation first, then the state,” he said. “The real state is the product of liberation, not the product of negotiations.”

“Holy war and armed resistance are the real and right path to liberation and recovery of rights,” he declared, adding that that while diplomatic efforts could also serve the cause, they had “no value without resistance.”

Meshal’s message stood in stark contrast to the strategy of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah faction that is dominant in the West Bank. Abbas led the successful U.N. bid, has negotiated with Israel and rejects violence.

Still, Meshal urged Abbas to follow through with a reconciliation agreement signed last year between Hamas and Fatah, calling the U.N. vote a boost to faltering unity efforts.

After the reconciliation accord, Meshal endorsed a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and unarmed “popular struggle” advocated by Abbas, but he did not renounce violence or commit to ending the conflict with Israel once that state was achieved.

HARRY FEAR FILM: ‘Harassed in Gaza: Internationals Under Threat’

December 3, 2012

An impromptu documentary capturing Israeli soldiers’ threats of violence, by Harry Fear.

Dedicated to the sufferers of constant harassment under Israeli occupation in the West Bank of Palestine.

http://fb.com/harryfear – © http://GazaReport.com

SHORT FILM: ‘Israel and Palestine – An Animated Introduction’

December 1, 2012

http://desertpeace.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/child1.jpegHey friends – it’s time to stop saying, “It’s too complicated!”

You can’t stay on the sidelines anymore. Watch this “Jewish Voice for Peace” 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting, and also why the US-backed peace process has been an impediment to peace. Finally, this presentation will show you what you can do to make a difference. Watch…

Find out more at www.jvp.org/101

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The End of Jewish Power

December 1, 2012

By Gilad Atzmon

http://quitenormal.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/un-israel.gif?w=593Israel suffered a humiliating defeat at The UN yesterday. The nations of the world stood up and said NO to the Jewish state – NO to Israeli occupation, NO to Israeli human rights abuse, NO to Jewish racism. In effect, they stood up and confessed to serious Zio-fatigue.

Despite Jewish success in constantly reminding Europeans of their tormented past, Europe yesterday delivered itself of its guilt and Israel’s European allies such as Germany, France, Britain and Italy also delivered a clear messages to Israel – they are right out of patience. This is a very good news indeed.

But interestingly, this united opposition to Israel is not in response the Israeli strength. On the contrary, it is actually a reaction to Israeli weakness. In the last few months we have seen the complete and final eradication of the famed Israeli power of deterrence. For months, Israel gave the impression that it was ready and willing to attack Iran nuclear facilities, only to have to admit, even to itself, that it lacked both the means and guts to do so. Israel then launched a lethal attack on the people of Gaza. It called up 75.000 IDF reservists, only to find out that it didn’t have the stomach to face Palestinian resistance.

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