Posted on December 17, 2012 by Akashma Online News
By Chris Hedges
When Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years in exile on Feb. 1, 1979, he set out to destroy the secular opposition forces, including the Communist Party of Iran, which had been instrumental in bringing down the shah. Khomeini’s declaration of an Islamic government, supported by referendum, saw him rewrite the constitution, close opposition newspapers and ban opposition groups including the National Democratic Front and the Muslim People’s Republican Party. Dissidents who had spent years inside Iran’s notoriously brutal prison system under the shah were incarcerated once again by the new regime. Some returned to their cells to be greeted by their old jailers, who had offered their services to the new regime.
This is what is under way in Egypt. It is the story of most revolutions. The moderates, who are crucial to winning the support of the masses and many outside the country, become an impediment to the consolidation of autocratic power. Liberal democrats, intellectuals, the middle class, secularists and religious minorities including Coptic Christians were always seen by President Mohamed Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party—Egypt’s de facto political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood—as “useful idiots.” These forces were essential to building a broad movement to topple the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. They permitted Western journalists to paint the opposition in their own image. But now they are a hindrance to single-party rule and are being crushed.
The first of two days of voting on a new constitution was held Saturday. According to reports Sunday, the document is being approved. The second round of voting, next Saturday, includes rural districts that provide much of the Brotherhood’s base of support, and it is expected to end in the constitution being ratified by the required 50 percent or more of Egypt’s 51 million voters. Opposition forces charge that the first round was marred by polling irregularities including bribery, intimidation, erratic polling hours and polling officials who instructed voters how to cast ballots. A large number of the 13,000 polling stations will have had no independent monitors; many judges, in protest over the drafting process, have refused to oversee the voting.
The referendum masks the real center of power, which is in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. The party has no intention of diluting or giving up that power. For example, when it appeared that the Supreme Constitutional Court would dissolve the panel—stacked with party members—that was drafting the new constitution, the Brotherhood locked the judges out of the court building. Three dozen members of the panel, including secularists, Coptic Christians, liberals and journalists, quit in protest. The remaining Islamists, in defiance of the judges, held an all-night session Nov. 29 and officially approved the 63-page document.
The draft constitution is filled with disturbingly vague language about democratic rights, civil liberties, the duties of women and the role of the press. It gives Islamic religious authorities control over the legislative process and many aspects of daily and personal life. One reason the constitution is expected to pass, apart from voting fraud, is because many liberals, secularists and Copts have walked away in disgust from electoral participation.
The Brotherhood, ironically, was not part of the vanguard that led the 18 days of protests in February 2011 that brought down Mubarak. It was reluctant, after decades of being severely repressed, to throw its weight behind the protesters clogging Tahrir Square. It said at first that it would not compete in the presidential election or run a full slate of parliamentary candidates. But once it saw the chaos, squabbling and disarray among its secular opponents, who ran three competing presidential candidates, it seized the opportunity.
Passages in the proposed constitution such as “The state is keen to preserve the genuine character of the Egyptian family” and the state guarantees freedom of the press except “in times of war or public mobilization” are vague enough to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to severely curtail women’s rights and ruthlessly silence press criticism. Morsi’s imperial presidential declaration of Nov. 22, until he rescinded it last week after street protests, effectively placed him above the law. Rescission of the decree will not, however, prevent the party from attaining dictatorial power.
The Brotherhood does not shrink from the use of deadly force. The violent street clashes between thousands of pro- and anti-government demonstrators outside the presidential palace last week left 10 dead and about 700 wounded. Some anti-government protesters said they were beaten in a makeshift detention and torture center that the Brotherhood set up close to the palace. Morsi showed no remorse. He announced in a nationally televised broadcast that anti-government demonstrators had confessed to being “paid thugs.” And the new government, to curb further street protests, including those that took place in Alexandria this weekend, has authorized the military to arrest civilians.
The Muslim Brotherhood, like all revolutionary parties that replace an ancien régime, has inhabited the traditional structures of power. Government ministers and cabinets have been appointed. Parliamentarians have been elected. Judges have been named. But actual power is held, as in most post-revolutionary societies, by parallel party organizations. There are two systems of authority. One is public and ceremonial. The other is secret and unassailable. It is this realization—that the formal positions of power no longer mean anything—that led to the withdrawal of 30 percent of the Constituent Assembly, including several presidential advisers. Public figures in official roles are window dressing.
Successful revolutionaries, as Crane Brinton wrote, “combine, in varying degrees, very high ideals and a complete contempt for the inhibitions and principles which serve other men as ideals. They present a strange variant of Plato’s pleasant scheme: they are not philosopher-kings but philosopher-killers. They have the realistic, the practical touch very few of the moderate leaders had, and yet they have also enough of the prophet’s fire to hold followers who expect the New Jerusalem around the corner. They are practical men unfettered by common sense, Machiavellians in the service of the Beautiful and the Good.”
The remarks by army chief of staff Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi were carried on state TV the day after the Pentagon announced it will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a larger NATO force to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attacks.
Firouzabadi said the Patriot deployment was aimed at protecting Israel from Iranian missile attacks and inhibit a potential Russian military defense of Syria.
“The wise and the elite in Europe, U.S. and Turkey should dismantle the Patriots and take them away from the region before a fire breaks out,” Firouzabadi was quoted as saying. “We are a friend of Turkey, we want security with Turkey, not Turkey being attacked through Syria so that they would want to deploy Patriots there.”
“Patriot missiles are a defense line for the Zionists and a result of (the West’s) concerns over Iran’s missiles and Russia’s presence to defend Syria,” he said. “Western countries approve the deployment of Patriots on the Syria-Turkey border as they design a world war,” he said in a separate quote carried by state TV’s website.
Iran and Russia are two of Damascus’ key allies. Tehran has provided Assad with military and political backing for years, and has kept up its strong support for the regime since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011.
On Thursday, a top Russian diplomat said Syrian President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country. But on Friday, the Foreign Ministry issued a convoluted denial, saying its top envoy for Syria was merely characterizing the opinion of the Syrian opposition rather than stating Russia’s view.
A number of Syrian shells have landed in Turkish territory since the conflict in the Arab state began in March 2011. Turkey has condemned Assad’s regime, supported Syrian rebels and provided shelter to Syrian refugees. Ankara is particularly worried that Assad may get desperate enough to use chemical weapons.
In addition to the American Patriot deployment, Germany and the Netherlands also agreed to provide two batteries of the U.S.-built defense systems and send up to 400 German and 360 Dutch troops to man them, bringing the total number of Patriot batteries slated for Turkey to six.
Also Saturday, Iran’s foreign minister said his country won’t allow Assad’s regime in Syria to fall.
Posted on December 16, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source US Department of Defense
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey, Dec. 14, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has signed an order that will deploy 400 U.S. personnel to Turkey to support the deployment that NATO agreed to recently of Patriot missile capability there, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.
Panetta signed the agreement en route to Turkey as he wrapped up a trip this week that included time in Kuwait and Afghanistan with civilian and military leaders.
He visited the troops to thank them for their dedication and sacrifice, and for spending another holiday season away from family and friends.
While in Kabul the secretary also met with Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF regional commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“The United States has been supporting Turkey in its efforts to defend itself,” Little said. “NATO has recently offered up Patriot missile battery capability to Turkey, [which] is a very strong ally of the United States.”
American forces in Europe will be in three types of bases.
- The first are main operating bases, installations like Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain. These bases will remain hubs and have American forces assigned to them.
- The second are called forward-operating sites. These bases are “light-switch operations” — meaning all troops arriving have to do is turn the lights on and operations can proceed. Examples of these bases are Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, Camp Eagle in Bosnia, and Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. There will also be forward-operating sites in Morocco, Tunisia, Bulgaria and Romania. Essentially, the US knows what is there, and knows what to bring when we come,” Jones said. “We can go from a zero presence to an operating base very quickly.”
- The third type of bases are called a cooperative security sites. These could be as small as a fueling agreement or as complicated as a few American contractors ensuring facilities are ready for U.S. troops to operate. These will be an inventory of geographical locations that if the US needed them, it will be pre-agreed with host nations that the US can have access to these bases. The key to the new footprint is an effective pre-positioning program. Global Security
Little said he expects the troops to be deployed in the coming weeks.
“I’m not going to go into precise locations at this time, he added, “but I wanted to let you … know that we signed that order and that we are prepared in the context of NATO to support the defense of Turkey for an unspecified period of time.”
The personnel will deploy to Turkey to operate two U.S. Patriot missile batteries once they are in place, he said.
“The purpose of this deployment is to signal very strongly that the United States, working closely with our NATO allies, is going to support the defense of Turkey, especially with potential threats emanating from Syria,” Little said.
Incirlik Air Base is an installation of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, a major command of the U.S. Air Force and the air component of the U.S. European Command, a DOD unified command.
“Turkey also is a key NATO ally and we have a lot of U.S. forces stationed there to enhance our strong defense cooperation,” Panetta told reporters traveling with him as the trip began.
“Both the United States and Turkey share common concerns now about the violence in Syria and the threat that it poses to regional stability, he added.
Panetta said DOD has been working closely with Turkey on humanitarian issues, chemical and biological weapons issues, and missile defense.
“I’m pleased that last week NATO pledged to deploy missile defense systems to protect Turkey, and we will participate in that effort as well,” the secretary said.
Panetta said the United States and Turkey are committed to work together to strengthen defense systems and to put pressure on the Assad regime in neighboring Syria to end the violence in that country and help develop the political transition that must take place there.
Follow Fallujah Aftermath
“We’re the Major Supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons” Cameco
Originally Published 2008
Canada is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
An Interview with Professor Jim Harding
While the U.S. appears to be on the verge of attacking Iran just for having a nuclear reactor, Washington and its allies continue to be the biggest nuclear proliferators in the world. Chief among these nuclear allies is Canada, which provides up to 40% of the world’s uranium, the largest amount. Eighty percent of Canadian uranium is exported, with 76% going to the U.S.
Canada has long been the main source of uranium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, globally the largest and deadliest at 10,000 warheads and bombs. Washington has a first-strike nuclear policy and is actively preparing for nuclear war. It is also the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons–not once, but twice, on Japan in 1945.
We recently spoke to Professor Jim Harding about Canada’s contribution to U.S. nuclear aggression. A nuclear war could, of course, wipe out all human life. Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. He is author of the recent book, Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System.
A study recently published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, found that the weapons and ammunition used by the US and its Imperial apparatus – NATO – in the illegal destruction and occupation of Iraq have led to significant rise in birth defects and unexplainable illnesses. In fact, there has been a five-fold increase in birth defects since the occupation began.
Before the invasion of Iraq just 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect. Between 2007 and 2010 the study found more than half of all babies were born with a defect. Just to repeat that, every other baby born has a congenital birth defect. In addition, during that period 45% of pregnancies ended in miscarriages. In young infants, the toxic metals mercury and lead were found to be at levels 5 times higher than normal Sott.net
Q: Tell us about Canada’s role in the creation of the Western nuclear system.
Harding: We were involved at the very front end of the Manhattan Project that created the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The uranium that was used in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was refined at the uranium conversion plant at Port Hope, Ontario, and the two sources were probably some from the Belgian Congo and some from the Port Radium mine that was reopened.
But the early work with the CANDU reactor in Montreal at McGill University, and then at Chalk River, also played a role with the production of plutonium for the bomb that was used in Nagasaki, because they were trying two different ways to create nuclear weapons.
The CANDU design that is now in 18 reactors in Ontario was actually created because of its capacity to produce weapons-grade plutonium. So that was shipped out of Chalk River into the U.S., I believe, into the 1960s. And the U.K.’s weapons program was also based on research at McGill and the prototype reactor that ended up as the CANDU. So Canada is right smack at the beginning of both the U.S. and U.K.’s nuclear weapons programs, and the history of nuclear weapons begins with these. We can’t seem to get it through our consciousness that we are not just used by the Anglo-American imperial system; we were willing compatriots in the creation of nuclear weapons.
Q: How did Canada help build the U.S. nuclear arsenal?
Harding: The arms race is already in place by 1946, a year after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs are dropped. The U.S. has the Strategic Air Command system in place, with the strategy of carrying atomic weapons towards Russia as a supposed deterrent, but of course Russia doesn’t have the atomic bomb at this point. And when the USSR actually develops the atomic bomb by 1949, the U.S. moves to the H-bomb and the whole thing escalates.
Canada is at the centre of that, because we are one of the main sources of uranium, both at Elliot Lake and Uranium City, for the U.S. arms race escalation from about 1953 on. So every speck of uranium that was mined out of northern Ontario and northern Saskatchewan went into nuclear weapons, mostly the U.S. ones, although a few contracts also went to Britain. That went on till 1966, and in some cases those contracts carried to the end of the 1960s. So, for that whole period, the 1950s and the 1960s, Canada is a major uranium fuel source for the escalation of the nuclear arms race.
Q: How is Canada violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?
Harding: Canada signed this treaty in 1970 and claimed that it would not be using uranium for weapons production. We now know that uranium out of Saskatchewan has been diverted through the depleted uranium (DU) system and has been fuelling the weapons stream. The public, I think, is largely unaware that we are still complicit directly in the weapons stream. It’s a tricky thing to track, but it goes something like this: After refining the uranium at Port Hope, we send it to the enriching system in the U.S. This system integrates both the military and the industrial uses of nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Pentagon both take uranium from this system.
The uranium that is to be used in electrical generating nuclear reactors is concentrated to about 5%. This is uranium-235. About nine-tenths of the mass of what’s left after enrichment is called depleted uranium. This is then available to the Pentagon to use for weapons. And it’s not really depleted. That’s a misnomer. It’s still uranium. It’s primarily uranium-238, which can be put into Pentagon reactors to create plutonium. All the Pentagon needs to do is bombard the depleted uranium with neutrons and it can create a plutonium stream for weapons. Also, the depleted uranium is the packing on the H-Bomb. What makes the H-Bomb the mega-bomb is the amount of packing of the depleted uranium around the plutonium trigger.
Then the various weapons-producing companies such as Aerojet and ATK take this uranium and make the conventional depleted uranium weapons that are now contaminating probably the last four war zones in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Uranium out of Canada that’s got into the depleted uranium stream has already been dropped on Iraq during the U.S. invasion. So the weapons connection got obscured when the Non-Proliferation Treaty came, because technically the uranium is shipped to the U.S. for their reactors, but in fact the depleted uranium that’s left is then in the control of those countries. So it fundamentally abrogates the intentions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but not technically.
Q: What are the implications of Canada’s continuing support for U.S. nuclear militarism?
Harding: It’s frightening stuff to think about. We’re really talking madness here in terms of the capacity. How few of these mega-bombs it would take to create a catastrophe that makes climate change look insignificant! The U.S. had 37,000 nuclear weapons during the 1980s, armed and ready to go. And we’re talking about using a very small number of those and having disastrous global implications.
When you dig below the surface, the complicity issue is always there. It was there in Vietnam, in terms of companies in Canada exporting armaments and even chemicals that were used in the napalm bombing. And in Canada we’re still doing that around depleted uranium. It just tends to be hidden behind the public statements of us being a non-nuclear power and having made the decision to focus on exporting medical isotopes and not nuclear weapons. This is an effective PR and propaganda system, but it just doesn’t happen to be true.
Q: What are the effects of depleted uranium on humans when it is used in conventional weapons, aside from immediate death and injury?
Harding: The number of cancers and death by cancer are significantly greater (than if the depleted uranium were not present), as are permanent sterility, birth deformations, and death from birth deformation. Depleted uranium affects the whole embryonic development, as well as increasing the risks of thyroid leukemia and other childhood cancers. They are seeing increases in a number of cancers in Basra and in other areas where they know there were high levels of depleted uranium weaponry used.
Q: Does Canada’s involvement in nuclear weapons production go beyond providing uranium to the U.S.?
Harding: There’s a story under this, not just about the diversion of uranium into DU weapons, but possible complicity recently in the actual production of the weapons metal. The uranium that’s going into the U.S. for enriching becomes part of the depleted uranium stockpile, and that’s accessible for weapons, but the Inter-Church Uranium Committee had an invoice leaked to it showing that uranium that went from the Key Lake mine in Saskatchewan to the U.S. then went back to the Port Hope uranium conversion plant which is run by the Canadian mining company Cameco (which also runs the Key Lake mine). From Port Hope, this uranium then went to Aerojet for depleted uranium uses. So as late as the early 1990s, there is some evidence that not only are we sending the uranium that ends up in the depleted uranium stockpile but we’ve also actually been involved in some processing of the depleted uranium in Canada. At that point, Cameco was licensed to refine uranium, but not licensed to work with depleted or enriched uranium.
Right now, Cameco has a license to do some slightly enriched production at Port Hope, and that is a contentious issue, but back then, when depleted uranium was coming to Port Hope, they had no license to work with DU, which did go to Aerojet, which is a munitions company.
Q: Does Canada supply any other nuclear power with uranium?
Harding: We’re also the major source of uranium for the French nuclear system, and that’s their 58 reactors, but likely their weapons program as well, because they don’t have another major source.
Q: Which Canadian companies are involved in uranium extraction?
Harding: Cameco is the big company in Saskatoon. It was started by an NDP government as a public enterprise and is now the largest uranium mining company on the planet. It’s a private company. It came out of the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation, the Crown corporation that developed the mines. This was privatized in 1988 under Mulroney when Grant Devine was the Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan. Denison is another Canadian company in uranium exploration. There are a hundred [junior] companies that are prospecting; they’ll sell to a bigger company if they find anything.
Q: What is the role of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and NAFTA in Canada’s uranium exports?
Harding: In the U.S., under the FTA, the depleted uranium is actually defined as being of domestic origin. So once the FTA and NAFTA came into effect, the U.S. shut down its uranium industry because it had security of supply from Canada.
Asad Ismi is the CCPA Monitor’s international affairs correspondent. Kristin Schwartz is a journalist and radio producer in Toronto. This interview was recorded for Asad and Kristin’s radio documentary Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World, scheduled for release this month. For Asad’s publications, visit http://www.asadismi.ws
According to information from Cameco Inc., the last shipment of depleted uranium for use in arms manufacture occurred
in 1988, when the company was known as Eldorado. Apparently “thousands of tons” of depleted uranium have been
exported to the U.S. for this purpose, in accordance with the federal government’s export policies and permits, which do
not consider the uses to which Canadian exports to the U.S. may be put.
This depleted uranium would have been used as shielding for bombs,bullets, tanks, guns, etc., and would have penetrated brick or cement walls used to protect civilians in bomb shelters, basements, etc. in the Gulf War and in Yugoslavia, causing thousands of civilian deaths, contrary to the Geneva Conventions and every other international agreement designed to protect humans and their rights. The radioactive fragments from such exploded bombs and artillery would then remain in the environment, poisoning water supplies and food crops. Depleted uranium in the environment was almost certainly responsible (in part) for the Gulf War Syndrome which ruined the lives of hundreds of servicemen, including Canadians. Activistmagazine
Posted on December 10, 2012 by Akashma Online News
The ministry of health has undertaken to commission a study to determine whether or not genetically modified foods are harmful to human beings. The ministry was tasked by the cabinet about two weeks ago to provide scientific proof over the safety of GMOs. Speaking at a press briefing at Afya House , the minister for public health and sanitation Beth Mugo said that the ban on importation of GMOs remains until conclusive studies are complete.
In a surprising act of courage , Public Health Minister Beth Mugo of the Kenyan government has announced on National Television that Kenya has completely banned the importation of all genetically modified (GMO) food into the country, until exhaustive tests on health effects are complete.
This study does not include Animal feed which it is Genetically Modified. And does not include the GMO’s produced in Kenya.
Will this mean that Monsanto Kenya is out of business?
According to Monsanto Kenya 2011 report: “In 2011, we made great progress to our goals around sustainability, engaging with many stakeholders and working in partnership with organizations around the world. I’m pleased to present you with Monsanto’s 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report which outlines recent work in this area” Really nothing in concrete can be seen on the country where poverty and starvation is one of the highest in Africa.
“As the population continues to increase, so does the demand for valuable resources. Monsanto is working for a better tomorrow by putting the right tools in the hands of farmers today. By equipping growers with better seeds, we can help protect our natural resources, fight hunger, improve nutrition and provide economic benefits to everyone involved in an improved system of agriculture.” Monsanto 2110 Report
What we are talking about here is that Monsanto measure Kenya agriculture growth solely on its sales of Modified Seeds, and their biotechnology which acording to the New Law in Kenya will be banned immediately. Well not so fast, this Law is clear on announcing the “All imports of GMO’s are banned”. This is double mirror news, because most of the GMO’s are not imported to Kenya, they are produced in Kenya. Monsanto Kenya is responsible for the production of Millions of Genetically Modified Seeds that will produce tons of GMO’s in the country.
Monsanto goes on to say in their report that part of thier continuous journey is also exemplified through their commitment to the UN Global Compact and The Ten Principles relating to the areas of human rights, labor practices, environmental protection and combating corruption. According to their 2011 report that includes the second installment of their actions supporting the Global Compact and a special update on their human rights activities. But then we the Poverty.org assuring us that Kenya is child labor it is a social problem.
Child labor – Obstacle to education
Child labor was introduced in Kenya during the colonial era. Too many issues currently fuel child labor to solve it overnight: poverty in rural areas and city slums; HIV/AIDS, which orphaned over 1 million children; conflicts; domestic violence; and traditional practices such as sending children to herd cattle or to be married at an early age.
Not to mention the kids who are forced by adults to either break into houses or smuggle illegal goods. Or those who are simply forced into prostitution.
Raising awareness about child poverty in Kenya
It’s only recently that people have become more aware of the importance of sending children to school as a long term investment. This is true for the media, policy makers, parents and … children themselves!
For the past 20 years successive governments have been implementing national policies and economic measures to tackle child labor via reducing poverty in Kenya and especially adult unemployment.
The current government has also created a system of grants and development funds in order to support children from poor families. This will nonetheless depend on how well the country does economically in the years to come if it is to sustain such public expenses. Poverty. org
Monsanto operates in 444 facilities in 66 countries. Not only Kenya has a Monsanto facility, but Kenya headquarters Monsanto Africa.
Tuskys head office complex
P.O. Box 47686, 00100 Nairobi
Tel: +254 20 2060922/44, 020 3574301-4
Fax: +254 20 823086
Cell: +254 722 205294/529, +254 733 600 468/629 414
Monsanto Vegetable Seeds Division
P.O. Box 47686, 00100
T. +254 20 2060922/44 3574301-4
So what is it in reality what the Minister of Health banned?
Here is a list of crops Monsanto invests in day after day in Africa and around the world.
- Alfalfa: Genuity® Roundup Ready® Alfalfa provides in-plant tolerance to Roundup® agricultural herbicide. Fewer weeds means it provides high-quality forage and hay.
- Canola: Genuity offers the Roundup Ready® trait in both spring and winter canola. This trait is a tool for farmers to help manage weeds and increase yield potential, creating a win-win on their farm.
- Corn: For farmers today, it’s all about getting the most yield out of every acre of corn, while using as few inputs as possible. Monsanto’s corn traits help farmers do this by providing cutting-edge technology that protects the plant’s yield.
- Cotton: Today, cotton growers are benefiting from second-generation and stacked trait technologies, which provide more levels of protection. Genuity® Bollgard II® with Roundup Ready® Flex represents Monsanto’s newest wave of innovation with two second-generation traits stacked into one seed.
- Sorghum: Sorghum is an efficient crop in the conversion of solar energy and more drought-tolerant than other crops such as corn and soybeans. Monsanto continues to research and develop new hybrids to fit growers’ needs.
- Soybeans: Whether it’s a higher yielding soybean that provides a broad spectrum of weed control with the Roundup Ready® system or a soybean plant that helps reduce trans-fatty acids, Monsanto has a lot to offer soybean farmers.
- Sugarbeets: Fewer herbicide applications, increased yields and more sugar content all make Genuity Roundup Ready® sugarbeets attractive to many farmers.
- Wheat: Since acquiring the WestBred brand in 2009, Monsanto has initiated an intensive effort to incorporate breakthrough breeding technologies – developed and deployed with notable success in other row crops – in wheat.
There is another side of the story developing in Kenya Feed The Future it is a US Organization under the umbrella of US Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative that help local farmers to increase their yield.
“Through a five-year project under Feed the Future, the company helps smallholder farmers access improved varieties of crops, increase their use of fertilizer, and learn improved soil and water management techniques” Feed the Future
How will the US government help the farmers to access “improved varieties of crops”?, there is only one way, thru the use of Genetically Modified Seeds obtained under the license of Monsanto. So if the US government has the ability to deliver Seeds to Kenya under the guise of Aids, it means also that the import of GMO’s will enter Kenya regardless of the Ban.
The US government is not an entity but a conglomerate of individuals working for their own agendas. Why will congress will allocate millions of dollars into a foreign programs? Unless these foreign programs are funded by corporations operating in those countries that will be benefit by the infusion of capital.
Take for example World Bank that it is associated with policies that work against the well being of the citizens of the country that will take the loan. Loans usually attached to conditions well beyond the control of the third world country government once the loan is taken.
If a third world country is forced to buy grains as a conditions to get the loan, it is because the Agribusiness in the US are behind the policies that will lead to the Aid to this country. It does not takes a genius to figure out the outcome of this condition. US agribusiness are giants subsidized by the Federal Government producing tons of grains per harvest, versus third world countries yielding small crops.
Another important aspect to take in consideration in Kenya is the level of government corruption. Politicians in Kenya are among the highest paid on earth, despite the fact that many of their constituents are poor, unemployed and undernourished. Corruption is one of the country’s most serious problems, with both taxes and international aid often lining private pockets instead of filling public coffers. If the importers of GMO’s are big Traders with big packets, there is little chance that this Ban will be successful.
We have to see the positive side of the News. This Ban is the culmination of the effort of concerned citizens seeking accountability from Monsanto practices. We could expect that this Ban follow other studies on GMO. Food is just one tiny aspect of Monsanto business. Soil Modification, Water treatment, Fertilizers, Herbicides are just few of Monsanto intrusive technology.
Read More on Monsanto…..
Monsanto have been modifying genes for 30 years, that we know. There is a short list known to the scientific community, and to the governmental agencies in charge of controlling its activities. But really Monsanto have been honest to the world? Does it planned since the beginning the seize of life on Earth. Did it do it with all premeditation and advantage to control and monopoly the seeds production and/or the food supply?
This are not easy questions to answer without being being puzzled by worry and grieve for our future. The farmers that have suffered already the unfair practices of Monsanto and the controversial rulings of the courts around the world, know better. Monsanto more dangerous than war itself
There is more that United Nations Control, the World Bank and the International Monetary fund, two weapons of war that makes the poorer countries pry of the Rich Global Corporations that in agreement with the United Nations get their pawns into the national resources of the countries and manage their internal sociology-economical and political policies, keeping the entire population subject to poverty and addicted to public welfare that it is at the same time another Corporate strategy to control the population.
For over 50 years The Men Behind the curtain or Elite, have been working diligently to establish a One Central Office of Power where they can manage the Affairs of Earth.
For years the use of the New World Order wording was sounding more like conspiracy theory than any other thing, because the propaganda machine that controls whats gets out to the people had the Project Under Wraps. By now the Centralized Office of the United Nations is at full control of Earth and little can be say that is have not being said before regarding their aims for the human race. Centralized Government
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Hamas leader hits out at Israel
(Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in an uncompromising speech during his first ever visit to Gaza after decades of exile, told a mass rally on Saturday he would never recognize Israel and pledged to “free the land of Palestine inch by inch”.
A sea of flag-waving supporters filled wasteland in Gaza city to hear his fiery speech at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of his group, which has ruled Gaza – a small splinter of coastal land – since 2007.
“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowds, saying he wanted the Palestinians to have all the territory that makes up modern-day Israel.
“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said.
Hamas said 500,000 attended the four-hour rally, held under a leaden winter sky. There was no independent crowd estimate.
“Oh dear Meshaal, your army struck Tel Aviv,” supporters chanted, referring to the recent war in which Hamas’s Qassam military brigade fired missiles for the first time at Israel’s largest city, 70 km (40 miles) up the coast, and also at Jerusalem.
“Oh Qassam, do it again, hit Haifa next time,” the crowds said, referring to a port city north of Tel Aviv.
Hamas said it won the short conflagration, which killed some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis, mostly civilians. Israel disputes this, saying it not only killed Hamas’s top military commander but also destroyed much of the group’s arms stockpile.
HAMAS MAKES PRIME TIME
Once treated as a pariah organization by its neighbors, Hamas has seen its standing in the region rise on the back of Arab Spring uprisings that have ushered in several sympathetic Islamist governments sharing much of its own ideology.
Underlining its improved status, delegations from Qatar, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt and Bahrain all attended the rally.
Meshaal picked out neighboring Egypt for particular praise, calling it “our backer”. By contrast, he appeared to take a swipe at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has led a deadly crackdown against a nationwide rebellion in his country.
“Hamas does not support any regime or state that launches a bloody battle against its people,” said Meshaal, who quit his home in Syria earlier this year after falling out with Assad.
Meshaal is viewed as more moderate than many other Hamas officials, and although he stuck to the group’s hard line on Israel, he held out the chance of reconciliation with the rival Palestinian faction Fatah, which holds sway in the West Bank.
“After the Gaza victory, it is time now for ending this chapter of division and build Palestinian unity,” he said. Hamas kicked Fatah out of the Mediterranean enclave after a brief civil war and all attempts to reconcile the two groups have failed so far.
HAMAS OPEN TO LONG-TERM TRUCE
While Hamas rejects dialogue with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party say they want a negotiated deal based on the lines that existed before the 1967 war, when Israel took the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
Israel unilaterally left Gaza in 2005, but still imposes a land and sea blockade that it says is necessary to prevent arms smuggling. It continues to occupy the West Bank and has annexed East Jerusalem – a move not recognised internationally.
Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel but its leaders have at times indicated a willingness to negotiate a prolonged truce in return for a return to 1967 lines – something Meshaal made no mention of at Saturday’s event.
Israel tried and failed to assassinate Meshaal in 1997 and has largely ignored his visit to Gaza. However, Israeli officials ridiculed the anniversary commemoration.
“Hamas celebrates 25 years of murdering Israelis by rockets and suicide bombings as well as executing Fatah members and violating … human rights,” Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter.
In another shot across Israel’s bows, Meshaal promised to free Palestinians jailed in the Jewish state, indicating Hamas would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips.
Israel last year released 1,027 Palestinians from its jails in return for the liberation of Gilad Shalit, a conscript soldier who was seized by Palestinian guerrillas in 2006 and hidden away for more than five years in Gaza.
Thousands of Palestinians remain in Israeli jails, many held on terrorism charges. Hamas says they are freedom fighters.
“We will not rest until we liberate the prisoners. The way we freed some of the prisoners in the past is the way we will use to free the remaining prisoners,” Meshaal said to loud cheers.
TOY GUNS, MODEL ROCKET
Meshaal, born in the West Bank in 1956, left with his family for exile in 1967 after Israel captured the territory.
He now spends his time between Cairo and Qatar, and was expected to cross back into Egypt on Sunday or Monday to resume his position as Hamas’s key point person with foreign donors.
Saturday’s rally was staged against the backdrop of a gigantic, panoramic picture of Jerusalem, including the golden-domed al-Aqsa mosque, which is one of Hamas’s symbols.
A massive model of a Gaza-manufactured rocket dominated the set and small boys in army fatigues holding toy guns trooped onto the platform to be embraced by Meshaal.
Speaking before him, a man identified only as a senior leader of the Qassam armed wing, his face covered by a checkered keffiyeh, said Hamas had used just a 10th of its capabilities in the November conflict with Israel.
“This is evidence that the time of the occupation is over, your time Zionists is over. Your Frankenstein state is collapsing,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Marwa Awad; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
By Jean Guisnel
Le Point Magazine
Translate Rosetta Stone
Discreetly, the French are preparing to intervene militarily in Syria . According to our information, only special forces are involved at this stage. The prevailing pattern consist of a relatively small French intervention integrated with a multinational coalition. This organization prepares the model which was set up during the war against Libya Gaddafi.
So it count at least U.S. , the UK and France, among other NATO members, including Turkey probably that would be associated Jordan and perhaps other Arab countries. There is no question of a ground invasion or massive air and / or sustainable, but rather a series of raids firmly supported by planes and helicopters, for putting the hand on the stock of chemical weapons .
Haunting Western leaders
About the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs are explicit. According to its deputy spokesman Vincent Floreani, “any use of these chemical weapons Assad would be unacceptable.” He added: “The leaders of Damascus should know that the international community is watching and will not remain without reaction if he were to use his weapons.” This is what was said on Monday U.S. President Barack Obama, saying: “The use of chemical weapons and would be totally unacceptable.” These comments illustrate millimiters conditions that would trigger military intervention in case the regime would use its arsenal toxic.
This reaction takes the form of strikes on targets “L” (for leadership) by cruise missiles, concomitant with a takeover of chemical stockpiles before their security and transfer. Because the obsession of Western leaders is not only on the use of poisonous weapons by the regime. They do not want more than opponents, including jihadists can get their hands on and use. Where the little phrase spokesman, who should not be taken lightly, when he speaks the international will “prevent the use of these weapons if the temptation is just to plan is to others.” Note that the Quai d’Orsay does not speak here of use, but of “temptation.” That changes a lot.
Preventive intervention looms
In reality, it is a preventive intervention looming. Is it realistic to imagine that the great capitals leave Assad act using such weapons, as they are convinced that the bully is going to do? Of course not … In this case released today to the thickness, the special forces of the countries forming a coalition “ad hoc”, that is to say, not subject to NATO would launch raids from Jordan and Turkey to seize weapons where they are, before any “temptation” to use has been a beginning of realization.
About the Public Washington indicate that U.S. officials were informed by their intelligence capabilities – or those of their allies – the implementation of preparatory measures for the use of these weapons. Soon followed by Paris, which is not late in this case, Americans have somehow started a final warning to Assad. They have their finger on the trigger. Preparing a preventive operation is not a mystery, to name a few, the French special forces have been set up discreetly in Jordan for this purpose. Both involve themselves in such an intervention, to help their counterparts in Jordan. We did an echo in here last September .
As political conditions of an intervention, they are at the discretion of François Hollande, leader of armies. At the conference of ambassadors on August 27, he had made it clear that France would respond militarily if the regime of Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons: “I say this with the solemnity appropriate: we are very careful with our allies to prevent the use of chemical weapons by the regime, the international community would be a legitimate cause of direct intervention. “
The Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius drove the nail a few days later . Since the end of the summer, things have changed and the formation of a coalition led by Representative Moaz Ahmad al-Khatib will trigger a response to its request. Bashar al-Assad has warned.
Weapon Manufactures business booming
Nexter (Giat Industries)
Nexter (formerly known as GIAT Industries or Groupement des Industries de l’Armée de Terre, Army’s Industries Group) is a French Government-owned corporation weapon manufacturer.
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Hawkins, who was accompanied by the Public Affairs Officer in the Consulate, Mrs. Dehab Ghebreab and Information Specialist Broadcast Media, Mrs. Joke Omotunde, said there were strong ties between Nigeria and the US especially in areas of security, education, cultural exchanges, military training and collaboration in regional and continental conflict resolution.
He said: “Nigeria is a huge country and you do not fully understand the country until you are inside it. The country has enormous energy which is found in the diversity of its people, who are very humorous.
The country has vast landmass and each area has something unique about it. We recognize Nigeria as the giant of Africa because of the size of the country in population, economy, the media and sustenance of democracy.”
Death, oil and religion: the origins of conflict in Nigeria run deep
The north of the country has been torn apart by terrorist attacks that saw police stations bombed, cars torched and the streets littered with bodies. More than 200 people have died so far in January alone.
How could a nation so rich in resources descend into such turmoil? The answer lies in a history of ethnic, religious and political fault-lines that go back centuries. The Conversation
He said the US recognized Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa, adding that the country was equally a strong player in global affairs.
According to the envoy, foreigners to Nigeria tended to see more of the positive sides than the areas of irritations that Nigerians complained of.
Hawkins said his visit to Vanguard was part of his familiarization tour of the Nigerian media landscape, to understand the working of the media in Nigeria and the challenges of implementing the Freedom of Information Act.
Largely, Nigeria’s poor image does not arise from government’s irresponsible behavior but from those of Nigerians! It is the ordinary Nigerian who litters the streets with trash. It is the ordinary Nigerian taxi or bus driver who gives out twenty naira to policemen instead of getting all his vehicle papers right. It is the ordinary Nigerian who shunts queues at filling stations, banks, or wherever order is required. to the consternation of the rest of us. It is the ordinary Nigerian who vandalizes NEPA property, NNPC pipeline or other public property, thus disrupting the meagre services the rest of us should receive from these sources. Yet it is the ordinary Nigerian who blames government most for all his woes. It is the ordinary Nigerian who creates bad publicity for this country, but it is the government that takes the blame. I am sad at this irony. Nigeria Media-Nigeria’s Image
The US team was received by the Editor, Mr. Mdeno Bayagbon; Deputy Editor, Mr. Eze Anaba; Foreign Affairs Editor, Mr. Hugo Odiogor; Business Editor, Mr. Omoh Gabriel; Political Editor, Emmanuel Aziken; and Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr. Victor Omoregie.
In his welcome remarks, Bayabgon told the envoy that Vanguard as a newspaper had been very supportive of the activities of the US mission in Nigeria. He commended the Consulate for finding positive lights with which to promote social and economic relations between the two countries.
According to the Editor, it is worth commending that the US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrance McCaulley, was presently on a four-city tour in US to educate Americans on the process of “Doing Business in Nigeria.”
He said that is a measure of the confidence that the US mission has in Nigeria, regardless of the security challenges facing the country now.
Nigeria is currently our 23rd largest goods trading partner with $38.6 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2011. Goods exports totaled $4.8 billion; Goods imports totaled $33.7 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Nigeria was $28.9 billion in 2011. Office of the US Trade
Nigeria booming illegal Oil Refineries – BBC Special
“Almost 400 people work here and every night we produce around 11,000 litres of diesel,” said 32-year-old Edward, adding that his elder brothers had learnt all about the business in Bakassi, near the Cameroonian border with Nigeria.
“For us we lose somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 barrels a day to crude theft and this is only what is lost in the metered sections of our pipeline. The large proportion we think ends up in refineries around the world.”
The oil companies’ hands are tied, as they do not have the power to arrest anyone or to intervene.
They have to rely on the military response, which is clearly ineffective.
I think this is the closest the regular citizen can get to take advantage of the wealth of their country. The Foreign Oil companies and the leaders of Nigeria had always been the big winners in this Oil Business. The Theft of the oil from the Official pipe lines are done without regard of the environment.
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
by Augustine C. Ohanwe
In Nigeria, topic of the Nigerian Civil War and ethnicity, is a heady mix. Ever since Achebe’s book left the publishing company for the public domain, a few lines attributed to Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the book, There Was A Country (A Personal History of Biafra) has provoked angry disagreements. Chief Awolowo was stated to have said:
“All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder.”
The above statement has raised much dust and partisan opinions along ethnic line. I do not wish, in this short piece, to be pro Achebe, anti Awoist or viceversa Achebe is one of the literary icons I admire. I do also admire Awolowo for being a strong opposition leader in the aftermath of our independence. Besides, he was equally a good friend of my maternal cousin, and he did visit my community when my mother’s cousin was seriously ill. He came to register his concern and to wish him a speedy recovery. My intention here is to use factual assertions to flavor my argument pertaining to the above expression.
Personally, I do not subscribe to opinions which take pride in distorting history or using ethnic prejudice to advance conclusions. Nigerians are not mugus. They can easily fish out a counterfeit note from a genuine one. Even when you frost the glass of your window, Nigerians can discern the room’s interior.
History has informed us that in times of war truth remains the first casualty. Yes, in war, people’s personal agenda do often collide with laid down rules for the execution of wars. Unfortunately, we have realized that no matter how unorthodox war activities might be carried out, the war must have disciples that glorify it. In analyzing our civil war, most analysts do not know how to separate their prejudices/ethnocentrism’s from facts, realities, myths and rumors. They end up removing facts, and proceed to amalgamate the rest into amorphous assemblage and glorify their verdict even though it is erected on weak variables. But what matters most is whether such glorification can withstand legal punches.
A critical analysis of the above expression credited to Chief Awolowo will inform us that it is not in any form an embodiment of beautiful and elevated thought. Unfortunately, the proteges of the author of the words have espoused the statement, masticated it, swallowed and digested it. And as could be seen in the fora and elsewhere, it has been converted into a mantra that should be invoked in future conflict situations, in the same way lawyers use a past ruling as a precedence for their future legal tussle. At the moment, admirers of Chief Awolowo parade his expression around with siren voices without being aware that numerous Articles of the Geneva Convention and its Protocols possess the legal power to disprove and silence them. Starvation of civilians population as a method of warfare is prohibited in both international and internal conflicts. Nonetheless, ignorance of rules of war has its danger here. But whether it will change the mindsets of members of the above school of thought is hard to state.
”Disrobing the god”.
That a man is revered as a sage does not bestow upon him, the crown of infallibility. Ever saw a perfect being? Our flesh is a mortal chain and the mistakes we make on daily basis testify our imperfections or weaknesses. I belong to the group who believes that no human is perfect and all us do err in thoughts, actions/deeds etc. Any person who thinks otherwise could be a member of sanctimonious hypocrites. That we all do make mistakes might be one of the reasons members of Roman Catholic church observe what they call, “Sacrament of Confession”. They believe that such outward sign of confessing their sins offer them an inward grace after they have repented and be forgiven by their priest, and if they have the courage, they could say sorry to the person they have offended. Politician find it hard to confess or to admit that they have crossed the Rubicon. Let me not be misunderstood. I am not going the religious way here. Rather I am using the above analogy to prove that we all do have our shortcomings and must muster the courage to own them. Those who protect their sage as pure, uncontaminated being should remember that that Angels are said to be bright, but the brightest of them all did not only fall, but fell to the depth of darkness!
It’s not a smart idea defending the indefensible. It is no exaggeration to state that grave mistakes were made in the conduct of our civil war. There abound videos and documentary evidences produced not by Igbo journalists but foreigners covering the war. The evidences are glaring and overwhelming and falls outside the field of ”propaganda”. What is required is to admit that mistakes were made, and to categorize them as one of those human frailties, with a genuine sign of remorse and contrite. Such admittance could put the entire episode to rest instead of attempting to white wash a wrong deed with word games and blistering attacks.
Hitler stood out as a person who used starvation in his war against the Jews. After the slow moving, winding train had brought the Jews to the concentration camp, they were allowed to starve. Breast-feeding kids were separated from their biological mothers and kept in separate compartments with intent to ascertain how long a Jewish kid could stay without food before dying. This act is only a tip of the iceberg of Hitler’s atrocities. “If all is fair in war …” why, after sixty years, the International Court in the Hague is still hunting for remnants of Hitler’s men? “If all is fair in war ..” why were Charles Taylor of Liberia and Milosevic of Serbia arraigned before the International Court of Justice? The Serbs were alleged to have pillaged food meant for the starving Bosnians and stalled the movement of food convoys from getting into the refugee camps for food distribution. That was one of the charges brought against the Serbian leader in the Hague. “If all is fair in war ..” why was Pol Pot of Cambodia and his Hench men hunted down? Why, after the Rwandan war those who committed the atrocities were rounded up. War has rules governing its conducts contrary to the opinions held by some people. There were war lords in the past centuries who executed their war campaigns with unparallelled barbarism such as Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. His war atrocities during his policy of expansion was unmatched in its devastation. He was heartless military officer who made his captives match along in files naked without food. It was the pressure from his people that persuaded him to reconsider his policy and to allow the captives cloth their nakedness. The weary captured Jews, who were forced to match into Babylon, suffered untold ordeal in the hand of this tyrant. Nebuchadnezzar massacred thousands of them for the only reason that their beauty had inflamed the passion of the Babylonian women. And in order to make sure that their corpses were not attractive to the women, he mutilated their bodies.
Attila the Huns, Chief of the nomadic people of central Asia was another war lord whose reputation for destruction of human lives earned him the “Scourge of God..” He slaughtered human being like chicken and derived what I would call, for lack of appropriate vocabulary, a sadistic orgasm. The destructive military campaigns of both Nebuchadnezzar and Attila the Huns occurred centuries ago when international law, the Geneva Convention and United Nations were not born.
But our civil war occurred within the period when the above institutions came into existence. However, our war took place when the international community’s attention was focused on the two super powers’ Cold War ideological/geopolitical rivalry. Their contest for supremacy took ascendancy over any other domestic wars, except however, where their vested national interests were at stake. It was not so with that of Rwanda, which occurred in the aftermath of the Cold War. The plank of my piece is that mistakes were made in the conduct of our civil war and the above statement should be viewed as unfortunate one.
Those who are defending the role played by their sage in the Nigerian civil are beside the fact because they are unacquainted with the rules of war. And when the blind partisans of biased minds cast their votes in the wrong ballot box of justice, truth will only smile.
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
While news from Berlin seem catastrophic for Syria, other news are coming from Russia indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad is good to stay. While Russia holds the political and economical power in Europe and Asia there is not much the US/Israel alliance can do to bring Syria Government down.
According to “A German Spy”, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is its final stages and will be unable to survive as more parts of the country slip from his control, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) said.
“Armed rebels are coordinating better, which is making their fight against Assad more effective,” Gerhard Schindler told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung newspaper, in an interview made public on Saturday.
“Assad’s regime will not survive.”
Rebels fighting to topple Assad declared Damascus International Airport a battle zone on Friday, while Moscow and Washington both sounded downbeat about the prospects of a diplomatic push to end the conflict after talks.
Syrian rebel commanders have elected a new 30-member leadership council and a chief of staff, a senior rebel said Saturday in a major step toward unifying the opposition that is fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. The Supreme Military Council, which was chosen Friday during a meeting in Turkey, will work with the political leadership that was chosen last month in Qatar.
Fighting around the capital city has intensified over the past week, and Western officials have begun speaking about faster change on the ground in a 20-month-old conflict that has killed 40,000 people.
“Evidence is mounting that the regime in Damascus is now in its final phase,” Schindler said.
Although neither Assad nor the rebels had been able to take the upper hand, Assad was losing control of more and more parts of the country, and was focusing his energy on defending Damascus, key military sites and airports, Schindler added.
Schindler’s comments echoed remarks made yesterday by U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who was withdrawn last year.
Russian and U.S. diplomats are meeting Sunday with U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for more talks on the civil war in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that the Americans were wrong to see Moscow as softening its position.
Russia agreed to take part in the talks in Geneva, he said, on the condition there would be no demand for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.
“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov said Sunday. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”
Lavrov met last week with Brahimi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Dublin. Afterward, Clinton said the United States and Russia were committed to trying again to get both sides in the Syrian conflict to talk about a political transition. Clinton stressed that the U.S. would continue to insist that Assad’s departure be a key part of that transition.
Russia and the United States have argued bitterly over how to address the conflict, which began with peaceful protests against Assad in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war. The U.S. has criticized Russia for shielding its closest ally in the Middle East, while Moscow has accused Washington of encouraging the rebels and being intent on regime change.
Russia’s foreign minister said Sunday that after he agreed to a U.S. proposal to have his and Clinton’s deputies “brainstorm” on Syria, the Americans began to suggest that Russia was softening its position.
“No such thing,” Lavrov said. “We have not changed our position.”
Germany weighed in Sunday on the future of Assad’s regime, with Federal Intelligence Service chief Gerhard Schindler saying it would not survive, although it was impossible to say how long it would hang on.
“Signs are increasing that the regime in Damascus is in its final phase,” he was quoted as telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
While Russia and Washington blame each other for the no resolution of Syria conflict, Syria is being destroyed. Whole cities are but a shadow of what they were just last year.
Total Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration
The total number of registered refugees and individuals awaiting registration is 490,104 as of 5 December. This includes 11,740 Syrians registered with UNHCR in North Africa.
Damascus has it history to keep the hopes alive for centuries to come.
“No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it,” wrote Mark Twain after visiting Syria’s capital — known colloquially as al-Sham — in the 1860s. “She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.”
Over the centuries, Damascus has been conquered by a string of foreign invaders that extends from King David of Israel — chronicled in the Old Testament — straight through to the French, who occupied the city until 1945. In between, Damascus fell to a list of conquerors that includes the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Umayyads, Egyptian Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks. But now, roiled by the Arab Spring, the invasions are internal, with Syrian tanks and troops rolling into restive cities.
After the Umayyad conquest of Damascus in the seventh century, the Umayyad Mosque (seen above, circa 1900) was constructed on the site where a Byzantine church, a Roman temple, and before that an Aramean temple to the god of thunder and rain once stood.
Geir Moulson contributed from Berlin.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Jason Webb)
Posted on December 09, 2013 by Akashma Online News
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday annulled a decree he issued last month expanding his powers, an official told a Cairo news conference.
“The constitutional decree is annulled from this moment,” said Selim al-Awa, a politician acting as spokesman of a meeting Morsi held earlier with other political leaders.
A referendum on a draft constitution would however still go ahead as planned on December 15, Awa said, explaining that constitutionally Morsi was unable to change the date.
The two issues — the decree and the referendum — were at the heart of anti-Morsi protests that have rocked Egypt in the past two weeks.
The controversial decree issued November 22 had put Morsi’s decisions beyond judicial review — a high-handed measure fiercely denounced as dictatorial by the opposition.
Opposition leaders demanded it be rescinded and the referendum be scrapped before they entered into any dialogue with Morsi to calm a crisis which exploded into street clashes this week that left seven people dead and hundreds injured.
Egypt’s powerful military on Saturday warned Morsi and the opposition to sit down for talks, otherwise it would take steps to prevent a “disastrous” degradation of the situation.
Egypt’s liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15.
Morsi met one of the opposition’s demands overnight, rescinding his Nov. 22 decrees that gave him near unrestricted powers. But he insisted on going ahead with the referendum on a constitution adopted by his Islamist allies.
The opposition National Salvation Front called on supporters to rally Sunday against the referendum.
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Sources: AP-Sky News-iol News
South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to a military hospital Saturday for medical tests, though the nation’s president told the public there was “no cause for alarm” over the 94-year-old icon’s health.
The Boy From the Transkei
The rolling green hills of the rural Transkei (see map) is the place Mandela thinks of as home; it is there he has built his retirement house. Growing up in the royal kraal of the Madiba clan, Mandela was groomed to be advisor to the King of Thembus.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”~Nelson Mandela
The rest of the world knows him as Nelson Mandela. We, as South Africans, choose to call him Madiba, his Xhosa clan name.
The statement issued by President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman said that Mandela was doing well and was receiving medical care “which is consistent for his age.” The statement offered no other details.
Former president Nelson Mandela‘s hospitalization has left many of his associates in the dark, it was reported on Sunday.Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang told City Press he was unaware of Mandela’s admission to a hospital in Pretoria for tests on Saturday.
“They have issued a press release?” he asked.
Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was also not made been aware of the hospitalisation, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told the newspaper. They had attended a soccer match together.Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was to have visited Mandela in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, but the visit was cancelled at the last minute.
“City Press further understands that the airplane that was supposed to carry Motlanthe to Qunu was reassigned to fly medical personnel to attend to Mandela,” the newspaper wrote.
An SA National Defence Force (SANDF) aircraft crashed in the Drakensberg in bad weather last week.
According to Beeld newspaper, the flight had gone ahead despite the weather, because it was carrying medicine for Mandela.
The SA Air Force has denied the claims.
The presidency said on Sunday it would issue periodic updates on Mandela’s condition. – Sapa
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term. He later retired from public life to live in his village of Qunu, and last made a public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.
“We wish Madiba all the best,” Zuma said in the statement, using Mandela’s clan name. “The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding president of a free and democratic South Africa.”
While the government sought to reassure South Africans about Mandela’s health, he remains viewed as a father figure to many in this nation of 50 million people. Each hospital trip raises the same worries about the increasingly frail former leader of the African National Congress — that the man who helped bring the nation together is slowly fading away.
In February, Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. In January 2011, however, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later.
Mandela contracted tuberculosis during his years in prison. He also had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985.
While Zuma’s statement offered no further details about who would provide medical attention for Mandela, the nation’s military has taken over caring for the aging leader since the 2011 respiratory infection. At 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Saturday night, the facility that previously cared for Mandela in February, everything appeared calm, without any additional security present.
Mac Maharaj, a presidential spokesman, declined to say whether Mandela had been flown by the military from Qunu to Pretoria. He also declined to say what the tests were for.
“It’s quite normal at his age to be going through those tests,” Maharaj told The Associated Press.
Mandela’s hospitalization comes just days after the crash of a military aircraft flying on an unknown mission near Mandela’s rural home in which all 11 onboard were killed.
The plane was flying to a military air base in Mthatha, which is about 30 kilometers (17 miles) north of Qunu. Military officials declined to say whether those on board had any part in caring for Mandela.
Associated Press writers Thomas Phakane in Pretoria, South Africa, and Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg contributed to this report.
Posted on December 08, 2012 by Akashma Online News
by Richard Falk
(I recently completed a mission to the Gaza Strip, entering by way of Egypt at the Rafah Crossing; as I am now in Doha attending the final days of the UN Climate Change negotiations, I have had no chance to write a post describing the moving and difficult circumstances that confront the people of Gaza, and the hopes and disappointments that followed the ceasefire that followed the Israeli onslaught; there are concerns about whether it will be fully implemented in accordance with expectations, and if not, whether events will move toward renewed cross-border violence. There are new hopes and complexities on two further fronts: the aftermath of Palestinian success in being confirmed as a non-member state by the General Assembly on November 29, and the new priority being accorded to reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. More than ever since Hamas assumed governing authority in June 2007, foreign leaders have been visiting Gaza, according Hamas an upgraded diplomatic status)
Israel must abide by cease-fire agreement in the Gaza Strip
CAIRO (5 December 2012) – Concluding his week-long mission to the region, Mr. Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, called on Israel to abide by and fully implement the cease fire agreement that ended the recent crisis with Gaza.
“The initial purpose of my visit was to assess the overall impact of Israel’s prolonged occupation and blockade against the Gaza Strip, which is an integral part of Palestine,” Mr. Falk explained, “however there arose an urgent need to investigate Israel’s seemingly deliberate attacks against seemingly civilian targets during recent hostilities. We visited the sites of attacks and spoke with surviving family members. It is clear that some attacks killed and harmed civilians in a grossly disproportionate manner and thus clearly appear to violate international law.”
The Special Rapporteur continued, “There is a widespread feeling among Palestinians that Israel is above the law, and that Israel is likely to continue to have the benefits of impunity even when it flagrantly violates international humanitarian law. Experience has shown that Israel fails to meet its international obligation to promptly and impartially investigate its own actions. Experience has also shown that Israel is not likely to carry out its obligations under the cease fire agreement; indeed during our visit we heard Israeli warplanes flying directly overhead and received reports of Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip.”
For the Special Rapporteur, “Sustained pressure from the international community, including both Governments and civil society, is essential to secure Israel’s the full implementation of the cease fire agreement, without which it is extremely unlikely to hold. Worldwide support for the recent General Assembly resolution that made Palestine a non-Member observer State should serve as a starting point for the more concerted international protection of Palestinian rights.”
The Special Rapporteur stressed that talks to clarify how certain aspects of the cease fire agreement will be implemented, in particular with regard to access to maritime and agricultural resources, must be swiftly concluded. “Every day Palestinian fishermen and farmers risk being shot at or detained by Israeli forces. Already since the agreement was reached, Israel has detained 13 fishermen, confiscated 4 fishing boats and sank another fishing boat. Such actions signal an Israeli intention to maintain the continuity of its coercive style of occupation rather than explore whether implementing the ceasefire, agreement might not lead toward a more relaxed atmosphere and a more hopeful future.”
“At the same time, Palestinians and the international community are confronted with huge challenges to address underlying problems that have been severely aggravated by Israel’s occupation and blockade.” The Special Rapporteur pointed to the urgent need for access to clean water and sanitation, productive agricultural land, and new infrastructure. “We received extensive briefs on what could be done if sufficient resources and political will are made available. One example is the construction of a desalinization plant to meet urgent water and agricultural needs, but in many such cases funding is not forthcoming as donors are reluctant to invest in infrastructure projects that Israel is likely to bomb in one of its periodic large-scale attacks against Gaza.”
According to Mr. Falk, “Unless these underlying problems are addressed soon, it appears that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, as predicted by a recent United Nations report. Some of the experts with whom we spoke actually believe that 2016 is a more reasonable assessment. This indicates the gravity of the human rights crisis in the Gaza Strip.”
The Special Rapporteur noted that his visit to the region consisted of meetings in Cairo and the Gaza Strip, with Governmental, inter-governmental and civil society representatives, as well as victims and witnesses. He received helpful briefings from UNRWA and other United Nations agencies, which provided an in-depth picture of the magnitude of the challenges in Gaza and the difficulties of addressing such challenges in a situation of occupation and blockade. He expressed his special appreciation to the people of Gaza and those international civil servants with whom he spoke for their support and engagement.
Mr. Falk’s next report to the Human Rights Council, which he intends to present in June 2013, will fully address the many concerns that were raised during the mission.
In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm
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Posted on December 08, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Israel threatened to cancel the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt if Hamas’ chief in exile and his delegation visited the Gaza Strip for the movement’s 25th anniversary, says senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishiq.
In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV Saturday, al-Rishiq said, “We received real threats that occupation could cancel the ceasefire agreement or do anything.”
Al-Rishiq highlighted that Mashaal decided to visit the Gaza Strip even at personal risk.
Describing the “historic” visit by Hamas’ leaders in exile to Gaza, he said, “This is a great view, and we are happy to set foot on the pure land of Gaza and met from the very beginning with our people.”
He added: “Our people should be more assured about resistance. Hamas is a resistance movement, and without resistance there will be no Hamas.”
On Thursday Islamic Jihad officials said Israel threatened to assassinate the leader of Islamic Jihad if he entered the Gaza Strip, causing the party to reconsider.
Egyptian authorities told Islamic Jihad that Israel rejected the visit and would target leader Ramadan Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhla if they went into Gaza, sources close to the discussions told Ma’an.
Islamic Jihad leaders were considering whether to cancel the visit Thursday.
Israel launched an 8-day assault on Gaza that ended Nov. 21 with a ceasefire agreement mediated by Egypt.
Posted on December 06, 2012 by Akashma Online News
His Majesty King Abdullah, The American Magazine November, 1947
This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.
As the Arabs see the Jews
His Majesty King Abdullah,
The American Magazine
I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.
So many billions of words have been written about Palestine—perhaps more than on any other subject in history—that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.
We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.
There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.
The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.
Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.
Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.
Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.
We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.
Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?
Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.
No people on earth have been less “anti-Semitic” than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbors.
Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centers have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment—far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.
I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow “always been a Jewish land.” Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologize for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their “historic claim.” I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!
If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.
Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.
It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: “Palestine” is merely the Greek form of “Philistia.”
Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.
In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.
This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!
Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, “homeland” of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.
Many Mexicans might claim Spain, “homeland” of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the “homeland” of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!
I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish “historic connection” with Palestine. Most are more valid.
In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.
If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country “Arab”, what does?
The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.
May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.
The Jewish “religious claim” to Palestine is as absurd as the “historic claim.” The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.
We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now—almost three years after war’s end—still languish in cold, depressing camps.
Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.
And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine—a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East—to accept the entire burden. “We have hurt these people terribly,” cries the West to the East. “Won’t you please take care of them for us?”
We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore “cruel and heartless nationalists”?
We are a generous people: we are proud that “Arab hospitality” is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.
But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us—even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.
I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.
And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!
I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.
Perhaps you have been informed that “the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine.”
This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organization which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.
The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!
You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.
Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: “My Jewish advisers tell me so.” He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.
The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.
Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organization that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.
The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.
The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.
One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.
If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives—or Palestine—we would both choose Palestine, too.
But open up any other alternative to them—give them any other choice, and see what happens!
No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors—just a little—to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.
Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.
In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.
The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years—unless stopped now—it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.
Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.
We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?
The sorry story of the so-called “Balfour Declaration,” which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.
We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a “national home” for an entirely foreign people.
Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.
I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.
In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.
But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.
In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.
But the next year—the year of Hitler—it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!
It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.
I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
I believe that you do not realize how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realize your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.
Quite aside from official American support for the “National Home” of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.
The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.
The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.
It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the “refugee ships” that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.
We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.
I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.
I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favors. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.
What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
Our answer is the same.
And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?
Ours will be the same.
Posted on December 06, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Israel Used Depleted Uranium Munitions During Gaza Offensive
by Richard Silverstein on December 6, 2012 ·
I’m beginning to read reports from Gaza that indicate that the IDF may have used depleted uranium munitions during its recent assault. A local journalist writes in Electronic Intifada about the grotesque forms of some of the victims’ wounds. He (incorrectly, I believe) associates them with chemical weapons like white phosphorus:
Among those receiving treatment in Nasser hospital in Khan Younis is a man who was hit by an Israeli drone that struck a farm owned by his family in southern Gaza. A friend of his was killed in the attack. “I was hit directly in my abdomen and two legs,” said the man, who is in his thirties and asked not to be named.
Baker al-Derdy, the head nurse in Nasser hospital, said that when this man was first admitted, there was “a strange smell, almost chemical” from him. Al-Derdy pointed to other indications that Israel may have used chemical weapons during its offensive.
“Some of the symptoms we have seen are abnormal,” al-Derdy added. “The type of burns that appear on the bodies suggest that the weapons employed were not conventional. The burns go deep into the skin and the skin itself turns blue. And I can tell you that the burns hit even the third layer of the skin.”
…Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza…acknowledged that some of the burns witnessed were deeper than those associated with conventional weapons.
“We in Gaza and health bodies in the West Bank do not have laboratories where we could properly examine what types of weapons have been used in Israeli attacks,” al-Qedra said. “But according to what we have seen so far, it appears that Israel used some explosive weapons or ammunition that caused burns and deep wounds. In most cases of those killed, we have seen that bodies were either torn apart or completely burnt out. Also, many of those injured have had their lower or upper limbs amputated.”
Making clear that I’m neither a doctor nor a weapons specialist, the general description of these savage wounds reminds me much more of the DIME munition developed by the U.S. and used by the IDF in Gaza in 2006.
There are reports that Israel is using a new weapon in the Gaza strip. More specifically, the claim is that Israel is using something called a DIME weapon. Say what? Yes, DIME weapons are real, it stands for Dense Inert Metal Explosive. In a nutshell a DIME weapon is a bomb or missile that detonates with powerful and lethal explosive power confined to a small area. The idea being to minimize “collateral damage” when using military weapons in urban areas. Yes, this is a humane killing device, science marches on!DIME-Dense Inert Metal Explosive
I posted several times about this horrific weapon. The Gaza Interior Ministry, in the midst of the fighting, released a statement claiming it had recorded high rates of radioactivity at bombing sites, claiming that unconventional weapons were used against a civilian population:
Major Hazem Abu Murad, assistant director of explosives engineering and member of the Committee to document war crimes, revealed that the occupation used radioactive materials in the explosives with which it had bombed the Gaza Strip.
Abu Murad told the Interior Ministry that the weapons with which Israel targeted Gaza contain heavy elements, including the Uranium, tungsten, aluminum and nickel”, and pointed out that these materials raise the temperature in the center of the explosion to 7 thousand degrees Celsius, and boost the destructive ability of the shell.
He also pointed to the types of weapons used by the occupation during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip, noting that among those weapons there are three types of ammunition which have been used for the first time.
If true, and I have no way of knowing whether Hamas’ claim was based on scientific testing, tungsten would be indicative of the use of DIME. The presence of uranium might lead in a different direction, as the IDF has weapons that contain depleted uranium. Here are some of its characteristics:
Depleted uranium is very dense…Thus a given mass of it has a smaller diameter than an equivalent lead projectile, with less aerodynamic drag and deeper penetration due to a higher pressure at point of impact. DU projectile ordnance is often incendiary because of its pyrophoric property.
…Depleted uranium is favored…because it is self-sharpening and pyrophoric. On impact with a hard target…the nose of the rod fractures in such a way that it remains sharp. The impact and subsequent release of heat energy causes it to disintegrate to dust and burn when it reaches air…When a DU penetrator reaches the interior of an armored vehicle, it catches fire, often igniting ammunition and fuel.
Further support for the thesis of its use by the IDF is a report to me from an Israeli source confirming the IDF used depleted uranium in Gaza. My source cannot confirm whether DIME was used or not.
The UN Human Rights Commission has asked member states to curb the use of such weapons and a paper prepared for the body argued that they may contravene numerous international treaties. The European Parliament called for a ban on DU munitions.
Here are some of their health effects:
Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal. DU is less toxic than other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury. It is weakly radioactive but remains radioactive because of its long half-life.
…British Army doctors warned the British…Ministry of Defence that exposure to depleted uranium increased the risk of developing lung, lymph and brain cancer, and recommended a series of safety precautions.
This seems perfectly in synch with the typical practice of the IDF to exploit whatever weapons appear convenient and effective, no matter how controversial or even illegal their use might be, especially against a largely civilian population. This holds true for cluster bombs, white phosphorus and DIME, all of which Israel has employed during attacks on civilian areas of Lebanon and Gaza.
By the way, I’ve read several mainstream journalists claim that less than half those killed in Gaza were civilians. This is not true. Gaza human rights groups have counted 183 fatalities of whom 103 were civilian.
Under the Bombs and Under Attack still Gaza, Palestine – More allegations were brought to the light of the world when According to a Norwegian MD who was working at a Palestinian hospital in Gaza during the recent 2009 Cast Lead war the type of injuries that were inflicted on war casualties ,during this campaign, were different than anything that he has seen before in a war theater and he has seen quite a few conflagrations over the past thirty years. Another Norwegian doctor named DR. Gilbert told the Oslo Gardermoen that “there is a strong suspicion that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons.”
Posted on Akashma Online News
Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan and Iran enjoy close and brotherly relations which are rooted in historical, cultural and religious commonalities.
At the same time Closer Pakistan-Iran military ties proposed.
The Senate Defense Committee, which has broken taboos in the realm of national security by opening up debates on defense budget, counter-terrorism policies, civil-military relations, had this time invited a delegation of Iranian parliament led by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman, National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Majlis-i-Shura, for security dialogue.
The Prime Minister expressed these views in a meeting with Iranian Parliamentary delegation led by Chairman Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy of Majlis, Alaeddin Broujeri at the PM’s House on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister noted with satisfaction that cooperation between the two countries is on a positive trajectory. He underscored the importance of constant and extended contact between parliamentarians and public representatives of the two countries to further cement the existing warm relations.
The Prime Minister said that the close economic ties between the two countries are reflected in the cooperation on the gas pipeline project, electricity and infrastructure projects, a statement from the PM office said.
On Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that Iran and Pakistan have shared objectives and both the countries have to work in tandem for peace and reconciliation. He said that a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of not only Pakistan but the entire region. He said that terrorism and extremism are our common enemies and we must join hands to defeat these, he stressed.
Mr. Alaeddin Broujeri said that Iran is keen to expand and strengthen its relations with Pakistan. In this connection, agriculture is one area where both countries can cooperate more intensely, he added.
Mr. Alaeddin Broujeri thanked the Prime Minister who asked him to convey his best wishes to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Other members of the delegation included Mr. Mohammad Esmaeili and Mr. Ali Reza Ayyari.
Mr. Rehman Malik, Minister for Interior, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.
Posted on December 04, 2012 by Akashma Online News
by Marivel Guzman
Ankara, Turkey Dec 5, – Head of Iranˈs Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Mohammad Baqer Khorramshad on Wednesday called for expansion of cultural cooperation with Turkey.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Umit Yardim.
Khorramshad highlighted the cultural affinity between Iran and Turkey and said that the common grounds in the field of culture serves as longstanding heritage for the two nations to bring them closer and bolster their friendship.
He said that ICRO is willing to work with Turkish cultural organizations to help develop multilateral ties.
He called for implementing the cultural agreement signed between Iran and Turkey last year and forming a cultural expert group to follow up the agreement.
Khorramshad and Yardim agreed to implement the articles 11, 13 and 15 of the existing cultural agreement to repair late Imam Khomeiniˈs old house in Bussan, Turkey.
He invited the head of the Turkish Language Academy to pay a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mohammad Javad Khorramshad, who was speaking in the inauguration ceremony for Iran’s sacred defense film festival in Ankara, said he was conveying this message that there is no limitation for expansion of bilateral ties between Iran and Turkey. Referring to visits of officials from both countries in different levels, Khorramshad said that senior officials of the two countries have always underlined expansion of relations and now in the section of cinema and theater we are witnessing the process. He stressed that OCIC is ready to develop its relations in different sectors with related organizations and ministries in Turkey.
Turkey-Iran relations goes way back in the history of the two countries. Regardless of the regional conflicts they both faced, their relations had been steady with its ups and downs. When the news broke out that Turkey will be hosting the defense missiles system and missiles tracker Iran discouraged and made clear to Turkey that this could jeopardize their relations.
Turkey had asked guarantee to the US that this system should not be shared with Israel, with this Turkey is looking to apace Iran and at the same time to become an intermediary between Iran and the West.
Reza Shah took off on his only travel to a foreign country Turkey on June, 2, 1934. He was accompanied by 17 people, mostly high ranking military officers.
A brief background of Iran-Turkey Relations : Reza Shah was the first person to congratulated Ataturk after foundation of the Republic of Turkey
in 1923, sending him asword and a Quran as gift. On Apr, 22, 1926, a treaty of friendship and security was signed between the two countries. Although some incidents in the Kurdish region and foreign meddling prevented the two countries from approaching further, the leaders of these two neighboring countries tried to resolve border disputes and signed a new treaty in Ankara on Nov, 5, 1932
Reza Shah’s trip to Turkey marked the beginning of a new era in Iran-Turkey relationship. After short stops in Tabriz, Khoy and Maku, the Iranian mission entered Turkey on June, 11. They were accompanied by Turkish authorities through Kars, Erzurum, Trabzon, Samsun and arrived in Ankara on June, 16, 1934. They stayed in Turkey for 38 days and visited military, historical and other installations before returning to Tehran On July, 11.
Among other things, Reza Shah was very much impressed by modernization in Turkey and believed that Iran lacked participation of women in the society in order to develop. He founded many modern educational and public institutions and passed regulations that practically banned veil and changed the way Iranians were to dress on Dec, 23, 1935.
Turkey Iran relation
On April 22, 1926 the First “Treaty of Friendship” between Iran and Turkey was signed in Tehran.
On January 23, 1932 the first definitive frontier treaty between Turkey and Iran was signed in Tehran. It should be mentioned that the border between Turkey and Iran is one of the oldest in the world and has stayed more or less the same since the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514.
On July 8, 1937 a Treaty of Non-aggression was signed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. This treaty would become known as the Treaty of Saadabad. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure security and peace in the Middle East.
In August 1955 CENTO (Central Treaty Organization), a mutual security-pact between Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Britain was established.
In July 1964 the RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), aimed at joint economic projects between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan was established.
A period of coldness passed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which caused major changes in Iran and the Middle Eastern status quo. Today Iran and Turkey cooperate in a wide variety of fields that range from fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and promoting stability in Iraq and Central Asia.
Posted on December 04, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Excerpt from CFR
Interviewee: Robert A. Malley, Program Director, Middle East and North Africa, International Crisis Group
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org
The events in the Middle East continue to rapidly unfold, providing difficulties for U.S. policy in the region, whether it is the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine, the rise of Islamists, the conflict in Syria, or tensions with Iran. Middle East expert Robert Malley says, “With Islamists in power in Egypt, with Hamas more powerful than it was the last time it was at war with Israel [2008-09], the United States is trying to figure out its place in a region that is no longer the one it was accustomed to.” And in Syria, although a negotiated end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime is preferable, “unfortunately, it almost certainly is not the most likely” way the conflict will end. He says the United States is conflicted over accepting Egyptian help in ending the recent Israel-Hamas attacks while it is also uncomfortable with the domestic policies of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The situation in the Middle East seems extremely complicated right now. A little over a week after the United States and Israel negotiated a cease-fire with Hamas, its rival, the Palestinian Authority, is getting approval for an “observer state” status in the UN. Meanwhile, the situation in Egypt, whose leader Mohamed Morsi had been praised by the United States for his work in getting the cease-fire with Hamas, is in a fight over who’s going to run the country. How do you put all of this together?
On one level, there’s a lot that’s very familiar: A war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel that ends in an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire. A Palestinian bid for an elevation of their status at the UN. An Egyptian president, who, on the one hand, acts in ways that are viewed as quite constructive by the United States when it comes to the relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on the other hand, takes steps at home that are quite inconsistent with our view of democratic governance. We’ve seen all of that before. But the difference is that it’s taking place in a radically transformed environment where the protagonists have changed identities and worldviews. With Islamists in power in Egypt, with Hamas more powerful than it was the last time it was at war with Israel [2008-09], the United States is trying to figure out its place in a region that is no longer the one it was accustomed to.
So far, it seems Israel has passively accepted the inevitable vote in the United Nations. What’s the long-term significance of this?
Israel is beginning to do what it probably should have done from the beginning, which is to minimize the impact of this vote and to look to the day after the vote, rather than focus its energies on either trying to stop it or threatening retaliation in the event it took place. It was never in a position to stop it, and retaliation would backfire because it would be more harmful to Israel to see a collapse of the Palestinian Authority than it would be to the Palestinians themselves. The indications now coming through that Israel is going to take a more measured stance in response to the vote is something that would have been welcomed months ago, but better late than never.
The challenge is going to be twofold. One: managing the immediate aftermath of the vote to ensure that neither the Israeli government nor the U.S. Congress take retaliatory actions that would turn this in a very different direction. Second, if, as Palestinian President Abbas has said, negotiations are to resume after the vote or after Israeli elections, those negotiations learn something from the failures of the past. You can’t simply go back to the recipes that were used years ago and failed under circumstances that were more propitious than the ones that exist today.
Any renewed peace effort has to take into account the rise of Islamism, the increased mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians, the coming to the surface of issues that have been relatively secondary in the past and have now become very central, such as the notion of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state or the origin and the plight of the Palestinian refugees. These are some of the existential issues that were never easy to ignore but have become much harder to set aside, given the increasing influence in Israel and in Palestine of constituencies for whom those are the central issues, and given the rise of Islamists in Palestine and the Arab world, for whom some of the solutions of the past are going to be much more difficult to accept today.
Posted on December 03, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Moves against Israel will be made in the next few days following Netanyahu’s decision to move ahead on planning in E1 and build 3,000 housing units in the settlement blocs, and in East Jerusalem, say senior European diplomats.
Britain and France are poised to take action − possibly including the unprecedented step of recalling their ambassadors, according to senior European diplomats − in protest at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in the area known as E1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.
“This time it won’t just be a condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel,” a senior European diplomat said.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991)
Article 22(2)(b) of the 1991 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind considers “the establishment of settlers in an occupied territory and changes to the demographic composition of an occupied territory” as an “exceptionally serious war crime”. Customary international humanitarian law.
Netanyahu’s decision Friday to move ahead on planning in E1 and to build 3,000 housing units in the settlement blocs and in East Jerusalem, has apparently shocked the foreign ministries and the leaders in London and Paris. Not only do Britain and France view construction in E1 as a “red line,” they are reportedly angry because they view Israel as having responded ungratefully to the support the two countries gave it during the recent Gaza operation.
“London is furious about the E1 decision,” a European diplomat told Haaretz.
According to three senior diplomats from various EU countries, Britain and France were coordinating their moves against Israel, which they will reportedly implement over the next few days, and have discussed the extraordinary step of recalling their ambassadors from Tel Aviv for consultations. This step has never been taken before by these countries toward Israel. It would be so extreme that Britain and France may not take such action at this point but, rather, could invoke it in the case of further escalation of Israeli actions against the Palestinians. A final decision in the matter will be made today by the British and the French foreign ministers.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 49, sixth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.This amount to war crimes. This amount to War Crimes
A source in the Prime Minister’s Bureau said Israel was planning more steps against the Palestinian Authority. “The Palestinians will soon realize they made a mistake in taking unilateral steps that breached agreements with Israel,” the source said.
Israel’s decision to approve 3,000 new homes on occupied territory drew sharp condemnation from European allies on Monday, with at least three governments summoning ambassadors to express their disapproval of an action they say undermines an already troubled peace process.
The Israeli envoy to Paris was called to a meeting late Monday morning, according to a statement from the French foreign ministry spokesman, Philippe Lalliot. France, which was the first major European country to announce support for the Palestinian effort to win recognition at the U.N., also sent a letter to the Israeli government, calling the settlement decision “a considerable obstacle to the two-state solution.” Israel feel heat from Europe over constructions of settlements
Under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[t]he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. Customary Practice Relating to Rule 130. Transfer of Own Civilian Population into Occupied Territory
Britain, France, and Sweden summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their countries on Monday to express their condemnation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in the area known as E1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.
Last July Netanyahu Vows To Continue Settlement Construction, was the headlines on the Huff Post.
Article 49, sixth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Article 85(4)(a) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides that “the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a grave breach of the Protocol
Under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[t]he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. Customary Practice Relating to Rule 130. Transfer of Own Civilian Population into Occupied Territory
Posted on December 03, 2012 by Akashma Online News
By Gordon Duff Published Press TV
This was the day of the vote, the United Nations General Assembly voted to award “non-member statehood” to Palestine.
There are no more “occupied territories,” only an imprisoned and illegally occupied nation.
I can’t count the times I have heard the same things, the “talking points” used by the army of hasbara “helpers” who have worked relentlessly for 64 years to make the killing of Muslim women and children and the exile of millions seem heroic and noteworthy.
Today, the entire world recoiled in horror at the crimes of the “heroic” Jewish “homeland” that so many were convinced would remain “above the law” forever.
Protected by controlled news and media, propagandized history and the resources of billions in American aid, billions more in cash from trafficking in drugs, arms, human organs, conflict diamonds, money that was supposed to keep the world bribed and blackmailed for decades to come, today was never meant to happen.
We are told nine nations out of nearly 200 were all that would bow to the threats. Those threats are real, we will see school bombings, train wrecks, airline crashes, punishment meted out to those who chose to disobey, the “goyim” who failed to “keep their place” as the Torah demands, those who failed to “serve the Jew” as required by Israeli law.
Today the world became anti-Semitic, a world of “holocaust deniers,” all planning to build gas chambers, open concentration camps, all arming to push the Jews of Israel into the sea. The inane rhetoric began days ago and will reach a crescendo that no one will hear.
This is the old story told a million times, one that has lost its magic it seems.
Israel’s friends? The US and Canada along with Panama and the Marshall Islands, or as Jim W. Dean calls them, “the hockey puck and cocoanut brigade.”
Today, the Germans were no longer guilt ridden despite 64 years of being humiliated in the media and blackmailed into providing illegal weapons of mass destruction to Israel.
Polls held across Europe show 65% of the people support a Palestinian state. Israel has chosen to see this as betrayal.
In choosing to see it that way, they will make it so
For more times than I can count, the same story, “how can a little nation,” albeit one that controls much of the world’s organized crime, one that controls over half the world’s debt based currencies, one that has dictated a failed and even depraved culture upon the West, how can such a little nation do so much damage.
The answer is simple
Anyone can name a dozen, a hundred or even a thousand Jews who have contributed to science, to culture and to the moral standing of humanity.
The real question is simple
How can a nation that is supposed to represent what is undeniably a great people, warm of heart, by nature kind and accepting, how can such a nation become enslaved by a degenerate culture of victimization that has turned it into a pariah?
None of this had to be that way
Today, mention Israel and all that is seen is bombs falling on children in Gaza and the clownish hubris of Netanyahu with his hapless cartoon and maniacal and yet foolish and perhaps even idiotic scowl.
It didn’t have to come down to this, not to where six million Palestinians live in prison camps or as refugees, four million more scattered across the planet, three hundred thousand murdered after sixty four years of ethnic cleansing to build an apartheid state.
And for what…
The West Bank seized to build cheap vacation condos for “settlers.” I love that word, “settlers.” Olive groves are plowed under, villages bulldozed to ruin and “settlements” are built.
There is no employment on the West Bank, not for “settlers,” nothing but squatting on the land of others, looking out the window and stolen land, devoid of the real Semites who lived there for endless centuries, the Palestinians, all of whom, were manufactured history put to the test, at one time the tribes of Israel converted to Christianity and then Islam.
It could have been different
An enlightened people, tempered by suffering, could have come to Judea at the end of the Second World War, welcomed, as were those who came before. A nation could have been built, no “clash of cultures,” but something very different.
What happened was different, not just different from what could have been, but so very different from what is taught in Israel and the west, a story of colonial conquest, of 400 decimated villages, of expelled millions, of the labeling of those who stood up, those who resisted as being terrorists or renegades or savages.
The story is not just one of Israel and when passing judgment, few in the West are so innocent, in fact almost none. The great banking houses made sure palms were greased, an assurance that the world would see the birth of something monstrous when it could have been otherwise.
Today’s vote at the United Nations can be seen as a humiliating defeat for Israel. It could also be seen as a humiliating defeat for the United States though the current regime in Tel Aviv is quite violently anti-American and an outspoken enemy of President Obama.
We are certain that Secretary Clinton could have bullied at least one more “micro nation” to push Israel into the “two digit” column.
There is, in fact, no evidence that the US or any other nation, not after the horror in Gaza, cared to deny this ever so minor step toward long deserved recognition for ten million people denied their rights and identity.
Those politicians that tell us that the real settlement will be between the Palestinians and Israel are obviously both well meaning and delusional.
Israel faces more years of Netanyahu’s rule as his psyche is increasingly infected with narcissism and inhumanity.
None see him as the leader of a modern state and those who believe Israel to have a functioning democracy or who strive to maintain that believe despite evidence to the contrary, must also wonder how blind a people must be to choose a leader who brings such shame and even hatred on his people.
As an American, especially one who travels extensively, the Bush 43 years come to mind. In nation after nation it was always expected that, as an American, I identified with the style, the values and the intellectual strivings of our chosen national leader.
What I really mean is that people around the world assumed Americans were ignorant, bigoted and sociopathic.
I found real advantage in this, no matter how “jet lagged,” irritable or socially inept I may have been, even my worst behaviors would always exceed expectations. Most often, people would tell me, “I can actually understand your English; we thought all Americans talked like ‘Bush.’”
In the same sense, we must expect that Israel has to be a nation of decent people and that their insane dictator and his endless ravings must be an embarrassment to all.
Then I ask myself, is this just me, my belief that mankind has an innate sense of honor, of right and wrong, a desire for decency, an appreciation of beauty, of kindness, the universal things, family, children, community, or am I just fooling myself?
There were lessons today, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear
As Jim Dean pointed out to me, the media has kept the real issues at bay, focusing on the usual messages of dirty sex and celebrity gossip, what represents that which is vital for an informed electorate in the world’s great and powerful civilizations.
The issue is clear, Europe, the dependable backers of any Israeli mischief have “left the bus” for good.
They are not coming back. Australia is gone; this is not an “Arab and Jew” thing and screaming “anti-Semite” and pointing fingers is not worth even a “giggle” anymore.
The world is sick of it
There is an expectation that a settlement is reach and, in reality, no one believes that Israel or the Palestinians will be able to get there on their own.
America, sacrificing any potential for credibility and leadership, made a mistake today that will haunt President Obama, a mistake that will leave a stain on his legacy.
Domestic economic emergencies, partisan bickering over tax issues led to this debacle, that and a lack of courage and foresight.
America’s other obsession, the overthrow of Assad in Syria, has clearly placed the US in the position of “underhanded plotter,” hardly a stepping-stone to a resurgence of trust, leadership and respect that should signal the end of the Bush Doctrine of “world policeman and Israeli surrogate.”
Netanyahu, the “Nixon” of his era, dim witted, delusional, self-obsessed, has a window of opportunity.
Little does he realize he has created a legacy for himself, for Israel as “rogue,” or as Jeff Gates puts it, a “Criminal State” led by the inheritor of the mantle of Arnold Rothstein and Meyer Lansky, perhaps even Sheldon Adelson?
The choices are simple, either a “change of heart” or a slide into oblivion.
Today made it clear.
Posted on December 03, 2012 by Akashma Online News
By Gordon Duff and Press TV
“Behind the plotters are drug cartels that have penetrated the US government, former lobbyists who were moved into government during the Bush administration and now are suspected of being involved in a coup attempt.”
Seventy hours ago, at this writing, while on Air Force One, President Barack Obama issued a press release that has been utterly ignored by the Western Press.
The president has openly announced a move against violent plotters inside the US government and espionage agents. He does not use the terms “AIPAC” or “the Israel lobby” but it is highly unlikely he could be referring to anything else.
In fact, we can think of no other group.
I was privately briefed on some of the reasons behind this document. On what is known, not “surmised,” I will explain:
There is, currently, within the US military, the Executive branch of government and among extremist “power brokers” in America an active plot to “alter” America’s form of government through “decapitation.”
Let me be clear. Where the memo, printed in full below, refers to “violent”, it means “assassination” of many top leaders in America including but not limited to the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and others.
The plot makes use of the resources of major private defense contractors and their intelligence and special operations personnel. There has been active recruiting that has been noted and is why the memo was released and why many members of the military have been subjected to investigation.
The Benghazi attack was planned and financed by this group.
Many writers in the alternative media have noted much of what is going on but not all. Some have shown access to very knowledgeable sources.
Behind the plotters are drug cartels that have penetrated the US government, former lobbyists who were moved into government during the Bush (43) administration and now are suspected of being involved in a coup attempt.
There is no direct evidence tying any foreign government to this plot though most are “fanatically” aligned with the militant Likudists in Israel under Netanyahu’s regime.
The President’s text below, unedited:
The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release
November 21, 2012
Presidential Memorandum — National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs
Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies
Subject: National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs
This Presidential Memorandum transmits the National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs (Minimum Standards) to provide direction and guidance to promote the development of effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies to deter, detect, and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security. These threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the Government or the Nation, and unauthorized disclosure of classified information, including the vast amounts of classified data available on interconnected United States Government computer networks and systems.
The Minimum Standards provide departments and agencies with the minimum elements necessary to establish effective insider threat programs. These elements include the capability to gather, integrate, and centrally analyze and respond to key threat-related information; monitor employee use of classified networks; provide the workforce with insider threat awareness training; and protect the civil liberties and privacy of all personnel.
The resulting insider threat capabilities will strengthen the protection of classified information across the executive branch and reinforce our defenses against both adversaries and insiders who misuse their access and endanger our national security.
A very real threat to world stability
To some, at a glance, this might actually sound like a response to leaks within the CIA and White House except for some extraordinary language. Please make very special note of the following:
“…to deter, detect and mitigate actions by employees who may present a threat to national security…These threats include…violent acts against the Government and the Nation…”
Please note that they refer to “violent acts” and speak of both the “government” and “nation.”
By “government,” they are indicting, with no “wiggle room,” assassination plots.
By “nation,” they may well be referring to false flag terrorism that may well include use of weapons of mass destruction. Britain was subject to such a threat during the London Olympics, one that would never have been successfully overcome without the help of journalists who put themselves at great risk.
The US government has had a twelve-year moratorium against arrest and prosecution of spies within our government and military other than those who can be tied to China.
The most famous Chinese “spy” was Wen Lee Ho, a nuclear scientist at Los Alamos Labs. He was arrested in 1999, held in solitary confinement for a year and then released.
In order to get an accurate picture I phoned two friends, one a senior FBI counter-intelligence operative and the other a very senior US Army intelligence officer.
The question I put before them, while eating breakfast, was:
“Please list the nations that represent the greatest threat of espionage against the United States and, which nations, in order, are believed to represent the “penetration threat” that President Obama is referring to.”
From the FBI, their appraisal not intended for the “pop culture” media:
“Our greatest direct threat is Israel and the Israel lobby. They have systematically penetrated every aspect of government and the military and, if they cannot get documents from those branches, friends in congress will give them access to anything that branch has available. After that is India, with every research facility at risk from RAW (Indian Intelligence) penetration and then Cuba, Mexico and Turkey.
The primary end users of this intelligence, the “clients,” are Russia and China.”
From the US Army:
“I agree with Israel and the rest but we have not had Turkey on our radar. The obvious end users are, of course, Russia and China based on capability.
The issue I have is how a presidential press release, an extraordinary and almost “draconian” document has gone without an uproar from congress and wide press coverage. Who has the power to suppress reporting on something like this, though, I know that you will say it is Israel, I would want proof.
Though there has been no official notification of this, I am of the impression that we now consider any mention of Israeli spying to be highly classified. Only Russia and China are officially listed, entirely out of concern not to offend lobbyists whose feelings outweigh real issues of national security.”
Then I turn on my television, hour after hour of TV shows about espionage and terrorism. Both American and British TV are the same.
All spies are from Iran and Pakistan; nations that our actual intelligence agencies indicate represent no espionage threat to speak of.
In fact, in my two Saturday morning phone interviews, which can, of course, be confirmed by Homeland Security who has tapped my phones, I have reflected with great accuracy. Thus, we ask you to read what President Obama really did not say “between the lines,” the message is quite clear.
We do not see a roundup of AIPAC spies, not like in the early days of the Bush administration although Attorney General John Ashcroft quashed that investigation.
What we are seeing is a hunt for traitors within the American government and military, some of which is working its way onto the news.
The question of the moment, however, is this:
How can a President of the United States announce that the government is infiltrated with terrorists and spies and no newspaper, television network or other form of media notices?
AIPAC Inside the US Government
AIPAC Inside Britains Israel Lobby
It’s Time to Challenge the Propaganda Regarding Who is Killed by U. S. Drones: The CIA runs the drone program and it is shrouded in secrecy, which enables people like Brennan to characterize the program in glowing terms, which go mainly unchallenged by the media, and contribute to the public assumption that drones are accurate, safe, and taking out the bad guys.
Posted on November 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News
UN Press Room
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
General Assembly Plenary
44th & 45th Meetings (PM & Night)
General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly to Accord Palestine
‘ Non-Member Observer State’ Status in United Nations
Objective to ‘Breath New Life’ into Peace Process, Says Palestinian President;
Israel’s Delegate Counters, Without Direct Negotiations, Peace Remains ‘Out of Reach’
Voting by an overwhelming majority — 138 in favour to 9 against (Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States), with 41 abstentions — the General Assembly today accorded Palestine non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations.
“The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation,” said Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, as he called on the 193-member body to “issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine”. Indeed, following Israel’s latest aggression against the Gaza Strip, the international community now faced “the last chance” to save the long elusive two-State solution, he said, adding: “the window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out”.
Palestine came before the Assembly because it believed in peace, and because its people were in desperate need of it, he said, speaking ahead of the vote. Its endeavour to seek a change in status at the United Nations did not aim to terminate what remained of the long stagnant peace negotiations; instead, he said, it was aimed at trying to “breathe new life” into the process. Support for the resolution would also send a promising message to millions of Palestinians “that justice is possible and that there is a reason to be hopeful”, he stressed.
The text upgraded Palestine’s status without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice. The Palestinian Liberation Organization was recognized as an observer entity in 1974. By other terms of the resolution — the adoption of which coincided with the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and with the Assembly’s annual debate on the Question of Palestine — Member States echoed the “urgent need for the resumption and acceleration” of the peace negotiations.
Israel’s representative, also taking the floor before the vote, emphasized that the “one-sided” resolution did not advance peace, but instead pushed the process backward. “There is only one route to Palestinian statehood. There are no shortcuts. No quick fixes,” he said. The route to peace ran through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah. “ Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian State, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected,” he added.
He said that certain vital interests of his country, including recognition of the Jewish State and an agreement to end the conflict with Israel once and for all, did not appear in the text. Indeed, the only way to achieve peace was through agreements that had been reached by the parties and not through United Nations resolutions. He added that, as long as President Abbas preferred symbolism over reality, as long as he preferred to travel to New York rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace would be out of reach.
“There can be no substitute for negotiations”, agreed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who also addressed the Assembly following the resolution’s adoption. The decision to accord Palestine non-Member Observer State status was the prerogative of Member States, he said of the action, reiterating his belief that the Palestinians had a legitimate right to an independent State, and that Israel had the right to live in peace and security. “I call on all those concerned to act responsibly” and intensify efforts towards reconciliation and towards a just and lasting peace, he said.
General Assembly President Vuk Jeremić said that in today’s interconnected world, “what happens between the River Jordan and the shores of the Mediterranean has become the key to the security and well-being of [all] mankind.” Notwithstanding the efforts of some of the most courageous statesmen of the twentieth century, a negotiated comprehensive settlement that would enable Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security had yet to materialize “[a]nd so we still witness […] enmity, estrangement, and mistrust — as parents continue to bury their children”.
He appealed to both sides to work for peace; to negotiate in good faith; and ultimately, to succeed in reaching a historic settlement. “I have no doubt that history will judge this day to have been fraught with significance — but whether it will come to be looked upon as a step in the right direction on the road to peace will depend on how we bear ourselves in its wake,” he declared.
Among speakers who expressed their support for the resolution was Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, who said that, for 65 years, the whole world had shut its eyes to the plight of the Palestinian people. During that time, no resolution towards a Palestinian State had been honoured. “The reality of Palestine”, he said, “is a bleeding wound in the conscience of all humanity.”
Further, he said, “our vision for justice, international order and human rights will not be achieved until the moment we […] see the flag of the State of Palestine side by side with ours, as a full Member of the United Nations.” The granting of non-Member Observer State status could act as a “booster” creating the long-needed momentum towards a negotiated, comprehensive solution. Calling today’s vote a “first step”, he urged all United Nations Members to fulfil their long overdue responsibility towards the Palestinians.
“The eyes of all the children of Palestine are directed towards us”, said the representative of Sudan, who introduced the resolution. He called on all States to contribute today “to make history” and to “pave the way for the future” by casting their votes in favour. Doing so would be a victory both for the value of truth and for the Palestinian people themselves, he said.
However, other delegates, explaining their votes against the resolution, agreed with Israel’s representative that the text would do nothing to advance positive relations between the two parties to the conflict. In that vein, the representative of the United States said that her delegation had voted against the “unfortunate and counterproductive” resolution as it placed further obstacles in the path to peace.
The United States felt strongly that today’s “grand pronouncements would soon fade” and that the Palestinian people would wake up tomorrow “and find out that little about their lives had changed”, save that the prospects of peace had receded. Therefore, the United States called on both parties to renew direct negotiations, and continued to urge all parties to avoid all provocative actions in the region, in New York or elsewhere.
Also speaking prior to this morning’s action were the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Canada.
Speaking in explanation of their votes following action were delegates from France, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Honduras, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, United Republic of Tanzania, South Sudan, Netherlands, Japan, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Spain, Mexico, Georgia, Jamaica, Russian Federation, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Romania, Portugal and Mauritius.
Other speakers in the debate on the Question of Palestine were the representatives of Egypt, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Djibouti (on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference), China, Kuwait, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Malaysia, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia and Namibia.
The Head of the Delegation of the European Union also addressed the meeting.
The General Assembly will next convene on Friday, 30 November, at 11 a.m. to continue and conclude its debate on the question of Palestine and to take up the situation in the Middle East.
The General Assembly met this afternoon to take up the question of Palestine. It had before it two reports for consideration.
The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/67/35) states that the reporting period, 7 October 2011 to 6 October 2012, was characterized by the deadlocked political process and the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. According to the report, there has been no breakthrough in efforts towards resuming direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, owing to Israel’s consistent refusal to freeze its settlement activity and adhere to the long-standing terms of reference of the peace process.
The report states that the Committee continued to work for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, and a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in all its aspects, resulting in an end to the occupation and the independence of a sovereign, viable, contiguous and democratic Palestinian State based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution for the Palestine refugees based on General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
A durable settlement of the conflict is a prerequisite for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Thus, the report notes that the international community should maintain its focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, uphold its legal obligations in that regard, and present bold initiatives to break the current deadlock. With Palestinian membership in the Organization pending before the Security Council, the Committee believes that progress on Palestinian status at the United Nations will generate a new dynamic in the peace process and help safeguard the two-State solution.
According to the report, the Committee was also concerned by the ongoing violence and gross violations of humanitarian and human rights law, and reiterated its condemnation of all attacks against civilians, including rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, air strikes on populated areas, and settler violence, and calls upon the Security Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to act urgently to guarantee the protection of civilians.
The Palestinian Authority advanced its State-building programme, the report notes, but a serious budget deficit, as well as restrictions and obstacles imposed by Israel on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, prevented the normal movement of persons and goods, economic activity and sustained growth. The Committee calls upon donors to meet their prior commitments and to provide emergency aid to buttress the two-State solution. Progress towards that goal also requires all Palestinian factions to unite behind the legitimate leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. The Committee urges the speedy implementation, in good faith, of national reconciliation agreements.
Among numerous other actions urged in the report, the Committee also calls on the international community to take serious and concrete action to compel Israel to stop its illegal settlement activities and to genuinely commit to ending its 45-year military occupation and to making peace,and calls upon the Security Council to undertake a mission to the region to examine the situation first-hand.
The report of the Secretary-General on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (documents A/67/364-S/2012/701 and A/67/364/Add.1), covering the period September 2011 to August 2012, contains replies received from the parties concerned to the notes verbales sent by the Secretary-General, as well as his observations on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on international efforts to move the peace process forward.
It states that there has been little progress towards the peaceful settlement of the issue during the reporting period, and that confidence between the parties and in the political process continued to erode despite efforts by the United Nations, the Quartet and individual Member States. The unwillingness of the parties to engage in direct talks was due to a lack of trust and disagreement over the conditions that would allow them to do so.
The report also notes that the Palestinians had submitted an application for membership in the United Nations and acquired membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and that Israel continued to accelerate settlement activities in the West Bank. The situation on the ground remained challenging, in particular for the population living under closure in Gaza, while Israel, for its part, continued to face the threat of rocket fire. The situation on the ground presented a growing cause for concern over the viability of the two-State solution.
At the same time, the report states, the Palestinians continued to implement an ambitious State-building programme. They also briefly had resumed their efforts towards reuniting the West Bank and Gaza, albeit with limited success at reconciliation.
The report urges Israel to cease all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to take concrete steps to further ease the numerous restrictions in place both in the West Bank and Gaza. It also strongly encourages all Palestinians on the path of non-violence and unity in line with past Palestine Liberation Organization commitments.
In conclusion, the report states that the Secretary-General will continue to ensure that the United Nations works towards the establishment of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace with a secure Israel in the framework of a comprehensive regional settlement consistent with relevant Security Council resolutions, and in accordance with the Quartet road map, the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of land for peace.
Status of Palestine at United Nations
DAFF-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN ( Sudan), introducing the draft resolution on “status of Palestine in the United Nations” (document A/67/L.28), said the text aimed at taking a historic decision granting Palestine the status of non-Member Observer State. Its preamble reaffirmed the unacceptability of the acquisition of territory by force, and reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including to an independent State of Palestine. Several paragraphs of the text reaffirmed relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly concerning the peaceful settlement of the Question of Palestine, which mentioned, among other things, that Israel must withdraw from the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem.
Other references were made to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, starting with the right to self-determination and that to an independent State, as well as the need for an equitable settlement for the refugees of Palestine and the complete cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem. It recalled a General Assembly resolution which took note of the 1988 proclamation of a State of Palestine. Those paragraphs also reaffirmed the right of all States in the region to live in peace within safe and internationally recognized borders, and the right of those States to live side by side in peace and security.
Independence and freedom were enshrined in the United Nations Charter, he continued, emphasizing that today’s occasion was a chance to reaffirm those principles. Sixty-five years ago the United Nations had decided on the separation of two States, and one had waited until now, until this historic date. “The eyes of all the children of Palestine are directed towards us”, he said, adding that the resolution before the Assembly today was an additional milestone along the path to establishing the international will to realize real peace. He called on all States to contribute today “to make history” and to “pave the way for the future” by voting in favour of the resolution. Doing so would be a victory both for the value of truth and for the Palestinian people themselves, he said.
MAHMOUD ABBAS, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority, said that Palestine came before the Assembly at a time when it was “still tending to its wounds” from the latest Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, which had wiped out entire families, murdering men, women and children along with their dreams, their hopes, their futures and their longing to live an ordinary life in freedom and peace. It came before the Assembly because it believed in peace, and because its people were in desperate need of it.
The international community now faced “the last chance to save the two-State solution,” he stressed in that regard. Indeed, the recent Israeli aggression had confirmed, once again, the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.
During the dark days of its past — which included one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history — the Palestinian people had looked to the United Nations as a beacon of hope. It had appealed for an end to injustice, for the achievement of peace and for the realization of its rights, “and our people still believe in this and continue to wait”.
Over the last months, the world had heard the “incessant flood” of Israeli threats to Palestine’s peaceful, political and diplomatic endeavour to acquire non-Member Observer status in the United Nations. Some of those threats had been carried out in a “horrific and barbaric manner” in the Gaza Strip just days ago. The conviction that Israel was above the law and that it had immunity was bolstered by the failure by some to condemn and demand the cessation of its violations and crimes, and by the position that “equates the victim and the executioner”. “The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation,” he affirmed.
He went on to say that Palestine did not seek to delegitimize a State established years ago, but rather to affirm the legitimacy of the State that must now achieve its independence. Nor was Palestine’s endeavour aimed at terminating what remains of the negotiation process — “which has lost its objectivity and credibility”. Instead, it was aimed at trying to breathe new life into the negotiations.
“We will not give up, we will not tire, and our determination will not wane”, he emphasized, adding that the Palestinian people would not relinquish their inalienable rights, as defined by United Nations resolutions, including the right to defend themselves against aggression and occupation. They would continue their popular, peaceful resistance and their “epic steadfastness”, and they would continue to build on their land. “We will accept no less than the independence of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital”, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, he stressed.
However, he warned, “the window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out”. Indeed, “the rope of patience is shortening and hope is withering”. It was time for action and time to move forward, he said, calling for support from those present in the Assembly today. That support would send a promising message to millions of Palestinians “that justice is possible and that there is a reason to be hopeful”. It would show that the world would not accept the continuation of the occupation.
In its endeavour to acquire non-Member State status today, Palestine reaffirmed that it would always adhere to and respect the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations and international law, uphold equality, guarantee civil liberties, uphold the rule of law, promote democracy and pluralism and uphold and protect the rights of women. Sixty-five years ago on this day, the United Nations General Assembly had adopted resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned the land of Palestine into two States and had become “the birth certificate for Israel”. It now had a moral and historic duty, as well as a practical one, to “salvage the chances for peace”. In that regard, he asked the Assembly to “issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine” on an urgent basis.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said he represented the world’s one and only Jewish State; built in the Jewish people’s ancient homeland, with its eternal capital Jerusalem as its “beating heart”. He declared: “We are a nation with deep roots in the past and bright hopes for the future. We are a nation that values idealism, but acts with pragmatism. Israel is a nation that never hesitated to defend itself, but will always extend its hand for peace.” The Bible stated “seek peace and pursue it”. It had been the goal of the Israeli people and every Israeli leader since the re-established of Israel 64 years ago. This week marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem. In a speech just before that visit, that official had famously stood in the Egyptian Parliament and stated that he would go to the “ends of the Earth” to make peace with Israel.
Israel’s then-Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, had welcomed President Sadat to Israel and paved the way for peace. This morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said of the resolution the General Assembly was about to act upon: “Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian State, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all.”
None of those vital interests appeared in the resolution, he said, and as such, Israel could not accept it. The only way to achieve peace was through agreements that had been reached by the parties and not through United Nations resolutions that had completely ignored Israel’s vital security and national interests. And because the resolution was so one-sided, it did not advance peace, but pushed it backwards. No decision by the United Nations could break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel. The people of Israel waited for a Palestinian leader that was willing to follow in the path of President Sadat. For as long as President Abbas preferred symbolism over reality, as long as he preferred to travel to New York for United Nations resolutions, rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace would be out of reach.
He said that President Abbas had described today’s proceedings as “historic”. But the only thing historic about that official’s speech was how much it had ignored history. The truth was that 65 years ago today, the United Nations had voted to partition the British Mandate into two States: a Jewish State and an Arab State — two States for two peoples. Israel had accepted that plan. The Palestinians and Arab nations had rejected it and launched a “war of annihilation” to throw “the Jews into the sea”.
The truth was that from 1948 until 1967, the West Bank had been ruled by Jordon, and Gaza had been ruled by Egypt. The Arab States had not lifted a finger to create a Palestinian State. Instead, they had sought Israel’s destruction, and had been joined by newly formed Palestinian terrorist organizations. The truth was that to advance peace, Israel had dismantled entire communities and uprooted thousands of people from their homes in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Rather than use that opportunity to build a peaceful future, the Palestinians had turned Gaza into an “Iranian terror base”, from which thousands of rockets had been fired into Israeli cities. Last week, Gaza had been turned into a launching pad for rockets into Israeli cities, a haven for global terrorists and a munitions dump for Iranian weapons.
Three months ago, Israel’s Prime Minister had stood in the Assembly Hall and extended his hand in peace to President Abbas, reiterating that his goal was to create a solution of two-States for two-peoples — where a demilitarized Palestinian State would recognize Israel as a Jewish State. This afternoon, “I did not hear you use the phrase ‘two States for two peoples’ and, in fact, I have never heard you say that phrase because the Palestinian leadership has never recognized that Israel is the nation-State of the Jewish people,” he said, adding: “President Abbas, instead of revising history, it is time that you started making history by making peace with Israel.”
The resolution would not confer statehood on the Palestinian Authority, which clearly failed to meet the relevant criteria. The text would not enable the Palestinian Authority to join international treaties, organizations, or conferences as a State. The resolution could not serve as an acceptable term of reference for peace negotiations with Israel. “Let me tell you what his resolution does do,” he said, explaining that he believed it violated a fundamental binding commitment. It sent a message that the international community was willing to turn a blind eye to peace agreements. “Why continue to make painful sacrifices for peace, in exchange for pieces of paper that the other side will not honour?” he asked.
“There is only one route to Palestinian statehood. And that route does not run through this chamber in New York,” he said, adding that that route ran through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah. “There are no shortcuts. No quick fixes. No instant solutions,” he said, recalling that United States President Barack Obama had said in 2010: “Peace cannot be imposed from the outside.” In closing, he said, “65 years ago the Palestinians could have chosen to live side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. They could have chosen to accept the solution of two States for two peoples. They rejected it then, and they are rejecting it again today.” The United Nations had been founded to advance the cause of peace. Today, the Palestinians were turning their back on peace. “Don’t let history record that today the world body helped them along on their march of folly.”
MARTY NATALEGAWA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, said the time had come for the international community to set things right. “No longer can the world turn a blind eye to the long sufferings of the Palestinian people, the denial of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, the obstruction of their rights to self-determination and to independence,” he said. An independent State of Palestine with equal rights and responsibilities to those of other States would contribute to the attainment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The recent cycle of indiscriminate violence and disproportionate use of force in the Gaza Strip served as a serious reminder of the need for an earnest resumption and acceleration of the peace process, he said. Conditions conducive for that progress were ending illegal settlement activities, lifting the blockade of Gaza and enhancing its intra-Palestinian dialogue at this historic moment. By according non-Member Observer State status to Palestine, “we are signalling the primacy of diplomacy and rejection of violence”, he said.
JOHN BAIRD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, spoke in opposition to the resolution before the Assembly, saying that it had undermined the core foundations of the decades-long commitment by the international community and the parties themselves to a two-State solution. Also speaking in opposition to unilateral actions by either side, he said Canada’s support for a negotiated settlement was rooted in the history of the United Nations and the sustained international effort to resolve the matter. Tracing the history of that sustained effort, from 1947 with the passage of Assembly resolution 181 to 2008, with the passage of Security Council resolution 1850 (2008), he said the path to peace had rested in direct negotiations between the two parties.
He said the successive Security Council resolutions and various international commitments and understandings over nearly seven decades had formed the building blocks of a collaborative peace process that remained unfinished, and the resolution would not advance the cause of peace, spur a return to negotiations or better the lives of the Palestinian people. Conversely, such a unilateral step would harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations. Any two-State solution must be negotiated and mutually agreed upon by both sides, he reiterated, calling on both sides to return to the negotiating table without preconditions.
AHMET DAVUTOĞLU, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, said that for 65 years, the whole world had shut its eyes to the plight of the Palestinian people and for 65 years, no resolution towards a Palestinian State had been honoured. “The reality of Palestine”, he said, “is a bleeding wound in the conscience of all humanity,” one that he had witnessed on his recent visit to Gaza. He called on all to support a just, peaceful and harmonious future by coming together to “stand behind the Palestinian bid to become a non-Member Observer State”. The denial of the right of Palestinians to a State had no justification on moral, political or legal grounds.
Further, he said that “Our vision for justice, international order and human rights will not be achieved until the moment we […] see the flag of the State of Palestine side by side with ours, as a full Member of the United Nations.” He said that that was a humanitarian and moral obligation, while the political and historical context saw the peace process “on ice” and daily deviation from the internationally accepted solution prescribing an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital within its 1967 borders. The granting of non-Member State Observer status could be a “booster” creating the long-needed momentum towards a negotiated, comprehensive solution. Calling today’s vote a “first step”, he urged all United Nations Members to fulfil their long overdue responsibility towards the Palestinians.
VUK JEREMIĆ, President of the General Assembly, said that today’s meeting had begun by hearing from representatives of two great nations, President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and Ambassador Ron Prosor of the State of Israel. “They are each the children of Abraham,” he continued, “one a descendant of Ishmael, the other of Isaac.” Both were from a land that had almost continuously been tormented by conflict for many centuries, with countless victims on all sides.
Strife had not abated during the 67 years of United Nations existence, despite the fact that the Organization had been created to “‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’”, he said. Notwithstanding the efforts of some of the most courageous statesmen of the twentieth century, a negotiated comprehensive settlement that would enable Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security had yet to materialize “[a]nd so we still witness […] enmity, estrangement, and mistrust — as parents continue to bury their children”.
“In today’s […] interconnected world, what happens between the River Jordan and the shores of the Mediterranean has become the key to the security and well-being of [all] mankind,” he went on. “I have no doubt that history will judge this day to have been fraught with significance — but whether it will come to be looked upon as a step in the right direction on the road to peace will depend on how we bear ourselves in its wake.”
In closing, he appealed to “my dear friends from Palestine and Israel […] to work for peace; to negotiate in good faith; and ultimately, to succeed in reaching a historical settlement.” That was a common and solemn duty to the whole world, but “first and foremost to the proud men and women who live in a land that is holy to so many of us”. In asking delegates to cast their votes, he said, “I am sure each of you will do so with a veritable feeling in your heart that your choice is serving the cause of a righteous peace.”
Following those statements, by a vote of 138 in favour to 9 against ( Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States) with 41 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted resolution A/67/L.28 (Annex).
Immediately after the vote, BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that the decision to accord Palestine non-Member Observer State status was the prerogative of Member States. His position on the matter had been consistent, that the Palestinians had a legitimate right to an independent State, and that Israel had the right to live in peace and security. “There is no substitute for negotiations” to that end, he said, stressing the urgency of the need to resume meaningful negotiations. Due impetus must be given to those goals, he said, urging the parties to renew their commitment to a negotiated peace. “I call on all those concerned to act responsibly” and intensify efforts towards reconciliation and towards a just and lasting peace.
Speaking in explanation of vote following action, the representative of the United States said that, for decades, her Government had worked to achieve an end to the long and tragic conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Only through direct negotiations could the parties achieve the peace that they both deserved, she stressed, calling for “two States for two people”. That remained the goal, and the United States would, therefore, measure any proposed action against that “clear yardstick”. Indeed, it was necessary to ask if a measure would bring the parties closer to peace or push them further apart. Today’s “unfortunate and counterproductive” resolution placed further obstacles in the path to peace; therefore, the United States had voted against it.
Backers of the text said that they sought a Palestinian State at peace with Israel — and “so do we”, she stressed. But the only way to do so, and to resolve all status issues, was the crucial, if painful, work of negotiations between parties. The United States agreed strongly that today’s “grand pronouncements would soon fade” and that the Palestinian people would wake up tomorrow “and find out that little about their lives had changed”, save that the prospects of peace had receded. Therefore, the United States called on both parties to renew direct negotiations, and continued to urge all parties to avoid all provocative actions in the region, in New York or elsewhere. It would also continue to oppose all unilateral actions that circumvented or prejudged outcomes that could only be negotiated, including Palestinian statehood.
“Progress cannot be made by pressing a green button”, she stressed; for that reason, the vote today could not be misconstrued as constituting United Nations membership, nor establishing a Palestinian State. Indeed, it ignored virtually all other core questions such as security. President Obama had been clear in stating a realistic basis for negotiations, and the United States would continue to base its efforts on that approach. “There are no shortcuts” to peace, she stressed. Long after the votes had been cast and the speeches forgotten, “it is the Palestinians and Israelis who must still talk to each other and listen to each other”, and live side by side in the land that they shared.
The representative of France, speaking after the vote, said that, by voting to recognize Palestine as a non-Member Observer State, France had voted in favour of a two-State solution, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, within secure, internationally recognized borders. Since President François Mitterand’s appearance before the Knesset in 1982 and his call for the creation of a Palestinian State, France had promoted such a solution. It was in line with that heritage that President François Hollande supported international recognition of a Palestinian State.
The current meeting was a new stage towards the two-State solution, he continued. Only a few days after a new explosion of violence between Israel and Gaza, France had to give its full support to partners for peace, while those of armed struggle sought to win the day. He called upon the international community and the Arab world to contribute to prospects for peace, which included ending attacks on Israel and immediately returning to the negotiating table.
The representative of Singapore said that his delegation supported the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland and had, in the past, supported relevant Assembly resolutions. However, his country had abstained from today’s vote because only a negotiated settlement, consistent with Security Council resolution 242 (1967), could provide the basis for a viable, long-term solution. Both sides had legitimate rights and shared responsibilities and must be prepared to make compromises to achieve the larger good of a lasting peace. Because of those interlinked rights and responsibilities, no unilateral move could result in a just and durable outcome.
Palestine’s attempt to upgrade its status to non-Member Observer State, he continued, should be viewed in the context of its efforts last year for full United Nations membership. However, as facts on the ground had remained unchanged, its aspirations had not helped. He expressed the hope that the two parties would resume negotiations. Joining the international community in welcoming an end to the attacks on Gaza and southern Israel, he expressed regret for the loss of life on both sides.
The representative of the United Kingdom said he was gravely concerned about the action the Assembly had taken, saying that “the window for a negotiated solution was rapidly closing”. Israel and Palestine must return to credible negotiations to save a two-State solution. The Palestinian leadership should, without precondition, return to the table.
Further, he said, United Nations entities should not take immediate action based on today’s resolution, which in turn would make a negotiated solution impossible. In that regard, his delegation had abstained in voting on the resolution. Although Palestine had just became a non-Member Observer State, that would not change the situation on the ground. All possible efforts should be made in the coming weeks to restart peace negotiations.
The delegate of Germany said his nation firmed believed in “two States for two peoples” and shared the goal of a Palestinian State. However, such status must be achieved only through direct negotiations. There was doubt that today’s action would be helpful for the peace process at this point in time. “It might lead to further hardening of positions instead of improving chances of a two-State solution through direct negotiations,” he said. He explicitly welcomed that today’s resolution called for a two-State solution and, hence, recognized the right of Israel to exist in peace. However, Israel’s legitimate security concern had to be addressed in a credible manner.
The representative of Switzerland said that his delegation’s decision to vote in favour of the resolution had been motivated by the desire to “unblock the current stalemate” and to re-launch the peace process. He called, in that regard, for a solution with two States — Israel and Palestine — living side by side in peace and security. He also recalled relevant Assembly resolutions, including a relevant 1988 text. He also recalled past references to the nature of Jerusalem as the “capital of two States”.
Today’s resolution was the “keystone” supporting a two-State solution “whose prospects are fading”. The upgrade of status also endowed the Palestinians with obligations, including the obligation to refrain from the use of the threat of force and others. Bilateral recognition, however, depended on future negotiations.
The representative of Belgium said that true progress would be achieved when the Palestinians were able to enjoy, on the ground, a State with institutions, officials and infrastructure necessary to function smoothly. He agreed with the goal of a two-State solution, with a future State of Palestine that was democratic, viable and durable. The two-State solution was the only possible one, he stressed, and all efforts should be directed to that end. The resolution was not recognition of a State in full terms, he added.
In Belgium’s view, there was no alternative to negotiations, difficult as they may be. Priority should be placed on a swift resumption of peace talks. Israel and the Palestinian Authority must both refrain from any unilateral act that would compromise the credibility of the peace process, and “the peace process must move faster”. Calling for a swift resumption of the peace talks, he said that the parties must be brought to the same table.
The representative of Bulgaria said that his delegation had abstained because it was felt that the resolution would neither change the reality on the ground nor speed up the peace process. He called for an immediate resumption of peace negotiations without precondition. Bulgaria had consistently supported Palestine’s sovereignty and its people’s right of self-determination. In that regard, his country had bilateral diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine. Given the impact of the resolution adopted today on an early resumption of negotiations, he said he was sceptical that the text would advance the peace process. Any unilateral act was detrimental to the peace process.
FEODOR STARČEVIĆ (Serbia) said that, for the 132 United Nations Members that had so far recognized the State of Palestine, granting it the status of non-Member Observer State was a sign that their support for the Palestinian cause had brought results and strengthened the Palestinian right to self-determination. Serbia, and Yugoslavia before, had exhibited unwavering support for the Palestinian struggle towards independence, based on its own sense of justice. Serbia had diplomatic relations and maintained good and friendly cooperation with Israel as well.
Fully conscious of Israel’s legitimate security concerns, he said Serbia had an interest in promoting a solution that would bring about statehood for Palestine and security and peace for both Israel and Palestine. Neither a nation that was a victim of the Holocaust, nor one that was still questing for its statehood deserved to live in the same precarious situation for more than 60 years. Both peoples were weary of conflict and should not be made to wait any longer for it to end. He, therefore, called for peace negotiations to be urgently resumed and accelerated so that a peace agreement based on the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Quartet Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative could be reached.
The representative of Honduras, voting in favour of the resolution, did so to support the fundamental rights of human beings and of nations large and small. Honduras supported a two-State solution, Israel and Palestine. The vote in favour would contribute to a just peace and justice for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. There was a need for a comprehensive and negotiated solution to resolve all outstanding issues.
She understood that peace could not be imposed from outside, but must be found between the two States involved. A true peace could only be found through mutual recognition of the rights of both peoples. Israel and Palestine must go back to the table and negotiate all outstanding issues, with the support of the international community. Today’s vote should not be seen as a vote for one and against the other, but as a way to open new paths to direct understanding and to get closer to the ultimate aim of the resolution, which was peace.
Denmark’s representative said that 65 years ago, his delegation had voted for the establishment of two States in the former mandate of Palestine, and had voted in favour of today’s resolution as reaffirmation of its commitment to a two-State solution. Denmark had consistently supported Israel’s right to self-defence in accordance with international law and had also supported the Palestinians’ right to statehood and the strengthening of the Palestinian authority. In that regard, he called on all Palestinians to support President Abbas in his efforts to promote intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
Welcoming last week’s ceasefire agreement, he said that the sudden escalation of conflict in Gaza highlighted the urgent necessity for a comprehensive solution to the conflict and called on both sides to immediately resume direct bilateral negotiations without conditions on all final status issues, respecting previous agreements and understandings. He further appealed to the parties to refrain from any steps which could negatively affect the situation. The time to heed the call in resolution 181, adopted 65 years ago, was long overdue, he said. He further noted that Denmark’s vote today was not formal bilateral recognition of a sovereign Palestinian State.
The representative of Italy said that his country was strongly committed to peace as a fundamental interest of the European Union and the region. Italy’s position was grounded in the commitment that peace must be based on the idea of two States living on agreed borders and in peace and security. He strongly supported the European Union’s call to parties to ensure meaningful negotiations and to refrain from actions that undermined the credibility of the peace process. His delegation had supported the resolution, he said, but underlined the firm conviction that Palestine’s new status should not be applied retroactively. Furthermore, it in no way should prejudice the necessity for a negotiated settlement.
The representative of Greece said that his positive vote today had been guided by a longstanding principle that the Middle East solution should be based on two States, living in peace and security, side by side with the State of Israel. An important provision was operative paragraph 5. The inalienable right to statehood should be fulfilled through negotiation between the two parties. Voting in favour of the resolution, he said, had contributed to the peace process. In that regard, he urged the Palestinian side to refrain from unilateral steps and the Israeli side to refrain from action on the ground that could jeopardize the two-State solution.
The delegate of Hungary said his country abstained after having given consideration to all factors that would affect peace and stability in the region. Today’s action would not have a positive impact on the prospect of resumption of the Middle East peace process. The settlement must be based on a two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security. Hungary supported all efforts towards direct negotiations in the coming months.
Taking the floor next, Austria’s speaker stressed his country’s full support for the resolution. It had voted in favour of the text as an expression of its confidence in the serious efforts to be taken by Palestinian leaders to build an efficient independent State. It was, however, crucial for the two parties to return to the negotiation table, he said, calling for unity towards a negotiated solution.
Australia’s representative said that its decision to abstain in the vote balanced its support for the right of the Palestinian people to have a State with its concern for the need for a negotiated two-State solution. The resolution would confer the status of a non-Member Observer State on Palestine, not that of a Member State. He was concerned the resolution might make a negotiated solution more difficult. He urged both parties to return to negotiations, and said that it was important that neither side take actions now that would jeopardize that goal.
The representative of New Zealand said that his delegation’s vote in favour of the resolution was consistent with its long-held support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people. At the same time, he fully supported Israel’s right to exist in security, free from Hamas rockets, alongside an independent Palestine living within clearly defined borders. Noting that the resolution just adopted conferred non-Member Observer State status, he said that the question of recognition of a Palestinian State was a separate issue.
He further expressed the hope that with today’s decision both sides would do whatever was needed to return to the negotiating table. Whatever the significance of today’s vote, “we must now turn to what happens tomorrow”, he said. It was regrettable that today’s solution had to be achieved by a vote at the United Nations rather than at the negotiating table, but that was the reality of the current state of affairs.
The representative of the Czech Republic reiterated his country’s support for direct negotiations leading to Palestinian statehood, and he encouraged both parties to return to such talks. Costa Rica had long called on all concerned parties to avoid steps that might interfere with, or prejudice, that process. For that reason, the Czech Republic had voted against the present resolution. It fully supported aspirations for statehood in a fully negotiated solution, and living side by side with Israel in “mutual recognition”.
The representative of Finland said his country had voted in favour of the resolution with the aim of showing support to the “moderate forces” that were committed to the peace process. Finland was committed to a two-State solution, with both States living side by side in peace and security. The world had witnessed that the Palestinian Authority now had institutions of a “model State”, a fact which deserved recognition. He called on all sides to engage in negotiations immediately and without preconditions, and to refrain from actions that could inhibit that process. However, he stressed, the Assembly’s vote did not entail a formal recognition of a Palestinian State. Finland’s national position on the matter would be considered at a later date.
The delegate of Norway said he voted in favour of the resolution because Palestine was already involved in many institutions as a functioning State. Granting non-Member Observer State status was consistent with the efforts made so far. His country had supported the partition plan in 1947 and it had supported Israel’s entry into statehood in 1949. Palestinian people had the legitimate right to self-determination.
It was time, he said, for Member States to recognize the serious efforts made by Palestine to establish an independent State. Conversely, such a status came with responsibility. Palestine should make efforts to promote the rule of law and improve the human rights situation. Norway was committed to a two-State solution. However, only a negotiated solution could bring a lasting peace, and he called on both sides to restart negotiations.
The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said that today’s vote in favour of the draft resolution was an illustration of support for the legitimate cause of the people of Palestine. The resolution presented yet another opportunity for the international community to recognize an independent State of Palestine as it had recognized the State of Israel. “We are optimistic that the enhanced status granted today by the Assembly to the State of Palestine will provide renewed impetus to the parties to pursue vigorously all efforts to create a conducive environment to the resumption of direct and meaningful negotiations as called for by the Secretary-General in his report before the Assembly,” he said.
The representative of South Sudan said that, in voting for the resolution, his delegation had supported the right of self-determination for the people of Palestine. That principle accounted for the existence of many countries, he said, but it was “always contentious”. South Sudan had achieved its independence from Sudan after a struggle that had lasted half a century. It believed that, in the context of a conflict between two identity groups, the most practical and viable outcome was a negotiated solution. While South Sudan had voted in favour of the resolution, it still encouraged the parties to pursue a negotiated settlement.
The representative of the Netherlands, aligning with the statement to be made by the European Union, said that his delegation strongly support a peace agreement based on the borders of 1967, with a viable independent State of Palestine and a secure State of Israel living side by side in peace and security. “The current status quo is untenable,” he said in that regard. The Netherlands supported Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood, but would have preferred the resolution to be postponed, as it could threaten negotiations at this time. For that reason, the Netherlands had decided to abstain in the vote. It stood ready to support negotiations, and would support both parties bilaterally, taking into account Palestinian aspirations for statehood and Israel’s need for security. He urged all parties to refrain from actions that undermined the prospect of a two-State solution, and particularly urged Israel to end its settlement activities.
The representative of Japan said that his delegation had long supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It supported a two-State solution, and it had voted in favour of the resolution just adopted. Following today’s action, however, Palestine bore a greater responsibility, he said, urging Palestine to exert more earnest efforts towards peace in the Middle East. He called on the parties to establish relationships of mutual trust and to return to the negotiating table.
Japan, he continued, would undertake active cooperation to move the process forward in cooperation with the United States and other partners. “It’s not acceptable to use this resolution to act in such a way that would hinder direct negotiations with Israel”, he stressed, calling on Israel, for its part, to freeze settlement activities. He called on Palestine to immediately resume direct negotiations in a tangible way, and asked for prudence with respect to accession to international organizations.
The representative of Costa Rica said that 65 years ago, the Assembly had adopted resolution 181 creating a partition plan for the territory of Palestine, held under British mandate. Costa Rica had voted in favour of today’s resolution because it addressed the yearnings for peace of both peoples and would further the two-State solution. In addition, the text was in line with its recognition of a Palestinian State in 2008. There must be two States living securely, side by side within internationally recognized borders.
Costa Rica also believed in Israel’s right to exist in security without fear of rockets being launched into its territory. He fervently appealed to the authorities of Israel and Palestine to restart negotiations based on the obligations they had already acquired and in accordance with international law, and the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The representative of Guatemala said his delegation had abstained in the vote on the resolution in spite of the fact that it embraced the right of peoples to self-determination, and gave firm support to the establishment of an independent and sovereign State for the Palestinian people, living in peace, side-by-side, with Israel, behind secure borders. The reason for the abstention was that Guatemala was not prepared to grant the category of Observer State to that entity, which it had not yet recognized as a State, subjecting the latter to its conviction that the final status of the creation of the State of Palestine must be the outcome of a direct negotiation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Guatemala believed that that formulation was the only path to ensure peace, security and stability — not only between Israel and its immediate neighbours, but also for the whole Middle East.
The representative of Spain said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, describing the vote as an expression of the international community’s firm and irreversible commitment to peace. However, if there had been a progress in the peace process based on the road map adopted by the Quartet, today’s vote could have been avoided.
He went on to say that he was convinced a sovereign, independent viable Palestine State was a key element to regional stability and to the international community as a whole. There were many tools agreed upon, such as the Quartet’s road map, to achieve the two-State solution. In that context, he called on both sides to “urgently go back to the negotiation table without any preconditions”.
Mexico ’s speaker said he voted in favour of the resolution. His delegation reiterated its support for two States living side by side in peace and security. Today’s resolution would not significantly change the condition on the ground, but would at least give vigorous impetus to a long-sought yearning for a two-State solution. He called for the resumption of the peace process, including issues of security arrangement, and the status of Jerusalem.
The representative of Georgia, aligning with the upcoming statement of the European Union, said that, as a country in close proximity to the Middle East, Georgia was sympathetic to the aspirations of the people of the region, including those of Palestinians for statehood and those of Israelis for security. Ending the conflict was of paramount importance and could only be based on a negotiated settlement between the parties. The resolution adopted today could be understood as conferring privileges and rights in line with those of Non-Member Observer States; it did not imply an automatic right for Palestine to join international organizations as a State.
The representative of Jamaica said that his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution based on a firm commitment to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East region. Such a peace could only be brought about by a negotiated settlement, he stressed. Jamaica sought a balanced approach to the issue, which recognized, among other things, Israel’s right to exist. In its view, the granting of Non-Member Observer State status was on the same level as the status afforded to the Holy See delegation; it was not equivalent to membership in the United Nations.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that it had voted in favour of the resolution. In 1988, his delegation had decided to recognize the declaration of Palestinian statehood. There had been a Palestinian embassy operating in Moscow for some time. Today was an important milestone in reinstating historic equality, he continued. The primary issue hampering the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people was that of foreign occupation. The step taken today did not target Israel or isolate it, he said, emphasizing the need for a “responsible and measured reaction” from Israel and other parties. Any activities to “avenge” the resolution would be categorically unacceptable, he stressed in that regard. In addition, the upgrading of Palestinian status should lead to a resumption of negotiations. The Russian Federation would continue to do its utmost to foster such resumption of talks.
The representative of Papua New Guinea said that his Government recognized both Israel and Palestine and would continue to do so. Papua New Guinea had often abstained from votes on issues pertaining to the parties. It was only those two parties who could resolve the issues between them. He expressed regret over the recent loss of life on both sides and was pleased to see that the Gaza ceasefire was holding up. He said that his own country’s history of bloody conflict had been ended through a negotiated peace process. That was the only way such a conflict could be resolved, he said, and urged both Israel and the Palestinians to go back to the negotiating table.
The representative of the Republic of Korea said his Government fully understood the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, but had abstained in the vote, owing to a lack of meaningful progress in the political process. At the same time, he expressed sincere hope for meaningful negotiations to begin in earnest. The Republic of Korea was deeply saddened by the deaths caused by recent fighting in Gaza. In that regard, his delegation welcomed the ceasefire, which however, remained fragile, and he called for the resumption of peace negotiations.
Romania’s speaker said his delegation had abstained in the vote because it had consistently supported multilateralism and could not concur with any form of unilateralism. The Palestinian’s objectives were legitimate, but a two-State solution must be forged through the resumption of peace negotiations. The only viable tool was the Quartet-backed road map, which provided internationally recognized borders, among other objectives.
The representative of Portugal said that his delegation had long defended the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination through the establishment of a sovereign State. It had done so bilaterally and within the context of the European Union, he said. Portugal supported the right of all States in the region to live in peace and security, and endorsed the two-State solution, based on negotiations. Portugal had voted in favour of the resolution just adopted owing to its unwavering commitment to dialogue on the part of the Palestinians and in light of progress made in establishing functioning State institutions. He hoped that the Assembly’s action would provide a much needed impetus to the peace process and urged both parties to resume credible negotiations without precondition and without delay.
The representative of Mauritius said that his country had always supported the establishment of the long-overdue Palestinian State, living side by side in peace and security with Israel. His country maintained strong relations with the Palestinian Authority, and hoped that the Palestinian’s long-standing aspirations for statehood would be materialized soon. Mauritius firmly believed that the question of Palestine could and must be resolved by dialogue. It was unfortunate that there had been little headway in the peace process. Israeli settlements remained an obstacle to that process, he stressed, issuing his support for the full admission of Palestine as a Member State of the United Nations, a bid for which had been presented last year. He also called for the issue to retain primacy on the international agenda.
Statements on Question of Palestine
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL ( Egypt) congratulated the Palestinian people for having obtained the status of Non-Member Observer State. The adoption of the resolution by an enormous majority showed the international community’s recognition of the right of Palestine to have a Government and a territory with secure borders, in spite of the occupation and the occupying Power’s continuing acquisition of territory. The international community had affirmed that it was able to take the “right decision” when political will was present. He hoped that, in the near future, the Security Council would be able to undertake its responsibility through a similar decision, making Palestine a full Member State of the United Nations.
“It is clear that Israel is not serious when it comes to achieving peace,” he continued. Indeed, Israel based its methods on a strategy of negotiation “that leads nowhere”. Egypt, therefore, reaffirmed the importance of returning to the negotiating table on a stable basis and in agreement with the resolutions of the General Assembly. Those negotiations needed clear timelines, he said, adding that recent decisions leading to a cessation of hostilities in Gaza showed that it was possible to achieves peace “if all parties live up to their responsibilities”. Finally, he advised all parties, particularly Israel and the major donor countries, to not take unilateral measures or put pressure on the Palestinians to deter them from claiming their rights.
Speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran) condemned Israel’s prolonged military occupation and illegal policies and practices, including its military raids and attacks against the Palestinian civilian population. Today’s meeting had occurred as Israel had escalated its military campaign against the Palestinians. While the Movement welcomed the Gaza ceasefire agreement, it had called on Israel to end its illegal blockade of the Strip and open all crossing points, in accordance with is obligations under international law, Security Council resolution 1860 2009 and all other relevant United Nations resolutions.
He said that the Movement remained firm in its condemnation of Israel’s illegal settlement policies and practices and stressed that all such unlawful attempts to alter the status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, should not be recognized by the international community. It stressed the need for intensified efforts to compel Israel to cease its illegal polices and genuinely commit to the peace process. It stressed the need for the international community to remain united in its demand that Israel had to respect its legal obligations as an occupying Power and cease all its violations, he said.
Speaking in his national capacity, he congratulated the Palestinian people on their historic achievement. For more than 60 years, the question of Palestine had been one of the main challenges facing the international community. The crisis in the region, which had lasted for decades, had been one of the “unpleasant consequences” of the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime. That regime had persisted with its aggression and uncivilized behaviour, disregarding the calls of the international community for it to cease such actions. Iran believed that ignoring the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people would hinder the steps towards a just solution to the question.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said today’s decision to accord Non-Member Observer State status came as the latest escalation in the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict had caused the death of a large number of innocent civilians. “This is a bitter reminder of the urgent necessity to move forward towards the end of the conflict. Only a political solution to the conflict can bring lasting security, peace and prosperity to the Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. A comprehensive negotiated peace must and could be achieved on the basis of a two-State solution with the State of Israel and a sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, both living in agreed borders and enjoying peace and security.
The European Union had repeatedly expressed its support and wish for Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations as part of a solution to the conflict. It had also consistently worked to advance the Palestinian Authority’s State-building efforts and would continue to do so. Recalling the Berlin Declaration of March 1999, the European Union reiterated its readiness to recognize a Palestinian State, when appropriate. After today’s vote, it was important for all to work towards a settlement of the conflict with renewed purpose and sense of urgency. He called on all parties to pursue actions conducive to an environment of confidence necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations and to refrain from actions that undermined the credibility of the process.
He urged both sides to seek constructive ways to overcome the current obstacles for a resumption of direct negotiations without delay or preconditions, and welcomed in that regard the positive statements previously made by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, urging them to maintain these commitments. Clear parameters defining the basis for negotiations were key for a successful outcome, together with avoiding unilateral measures and acts on the ground which undermined the viability of the two-State solution. The European Union reaffirmed it would not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. It would work actively, within the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process and with international partners, in support of efforts to bring about substantive negotiations in the coming months.
KADRA AHMED HASSAN ( Djibouti), on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said that the international community had an historic opportunity — and responsibility — to support Palestinians’ just cause for independence. Palestinians had been negotiating with Israel in good faith to live in peace in security, a goal which had not been achieved and did not appear to be within Palestinians’ grasp, given Israel’s policy of “shifting the goal posts”. The prospects for peace had been challenged by Israel’s settlement building, apartheid wall, escalating acts of violence by settlers against Palestinians and confiscation of Palestinian homes and lands. Such international law violations had systematically undermined prospects for a two-State solution.
She expressed the Group’s grave concern about the situation in East Jerusalem, where Israel’s settlement campaign was most intense. She called for an end to that construction, and condemned terrorist activities by extremist settlers against Palestinian homes, agricultural lands and holy sites. Further, Israel’s military aggression and illegal blockade constituted a collective punishment against 1.5 million Palestinians and a war crime. The international community, especially the Security Council, needed to take measures for a permanent cessation of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
She said Palestinians’ accession to full membership to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was an international recognition of their rights. Similarly, the positive assessment by the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the Palestinian Authority’s Implementation Plan for building the institutions for a State was another strong sign of their readiness for statehood. A permanent peace between Israel and Palestinians was essential for both peoples. Palestinians’ improved diplomatic status would bring Israelis and Palestinians a step closer to achieving a sustainable solution on the basis of two States living side by side in peace and security.
LI BAODONG ( China) said the resolution adopted today was another positive step in Palestine’s progress towards statehood. Its adoption was the result of long-term efforts by the Arab community. He congratulated Palestine on becoming an Observer State of the United Nation. His country had long supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and an independent State of their own, with East Jerusalem as its capital. As early as 1988, China announced its recognition of the State of Palestine and established diplomatic relations with it.
Only when the question of Palestine was appropriately resolved, he continued, could the two-State solution be achieved. He expressed concern over the stalemate in that regard. Re-launching the peace talks between Israel and Palestine was all the more important. The international community must push Israel to return to the negotiating table in good faith. Concluding, he said that China would continue to play and active and constructive role to push for a just, comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian question.
MANSOUR ALOTAIBI ( Kuwait) said today’s adoption of the resolution was a landmark achievement at the crossroads of Palestinians’ struggle. It was an extremely important stage in the lives of Palestinians, especially in recognition of independent Palestinian State along the 1967 borders. It sent a clear message of international support of their rights, as it called for the resumption of talks in line with the aims of the Madrid Conference, Arab Peace Initiative and other measures to address refugee return, the status of Jerusalem, settlements, security, water and other issues. He urged continuing moral and political support to Palestinians until their State was established with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He said Israel’s 14 November military aggression against Gaza had resulted in huge losses in life and property. The United Nations’ inability to bring Israel to bear its obligations had encouraged that country to continue its intransigence and apply hostile expansionist policies. There was no better example of that than its military campaign, a policy that flouted international norms and laws. Israel’s blockade against Gaza, continued arrests of Palestinians and limits on goods and persons were the main cause of instability in the region, and he renewed the call to pressure Israel to end such hostile practices. He urged Israel’s implementation of resolution 497 (1981) and return to 1967 borders, reaffirming its occupation of Syrian land was another obstacle to establishing peace in the Middle East.
U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) noted the dawn may be closing on the two-State solution. Continued settlement-building by Israel threatened that objective. That impasse must be broken. Self-determination was the sole embodiment of the just, conscious expression of people to their dignity. To deny that right was to deny all other rights. She supported the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and statehood. Nigeria had recognized the State of Palestine and it had established diplomatic relations with it. Nigeria voted in favour of the admission of Palestine into UNESCO as a full Member State. She underscored the right of the Palestinians to live in freedom. It was fitting that today the international community had given Palestine non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations. “It was not only timely, it was right and it was just,” she said, pledging Nigeria’s commitment to work towards Palestine’s admission to the United Nations as a full Member State.
ZAHEER LAHER ( South Africa) said that while his Government supported full membership of Palestine, it was satisfying that the United Nations had cemented that “ Palestine is indeed a State”. He was certain that Palestinians would prevail in the quest for a viable State of their own and he urged the international community to avoid retributive actions that could stifle the existence of such a State. The Middle East peace process had been an agenda item for 65 years and he regretted there had been no significant movement in the long, drawn-out process towards a solution. The prospect for negotiations grew dimmer by the day amid Israel’s settlement building and restricting of Palestinians’ movement, among other measures. Settlements continued to threaten feasibility of a contiguous Palestinian State.
He went on to say that events in Gaza were a reminder of the fragile security situation, expressing pleasure that the ceasefire was holding. He welcomed mediation by Egypt, the League of Arab States and the Secretary-General that had led to the restoration of calm. He wondered where the Quartet had been during the crisis. Its silence showed its legitimacy should be addressed, perhaps by disbanding it. He was also disappointed the Security Council did not act at an appropriate time. He called for redoubled efforts for the implementation of a viable two-State solution, providing for a Palestinian State living alongside Israel based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The blockade of Gaza had resulted in delays in the provision of humanitarian assistance and he called on Israel to end it. Conflict between Israel and Palestine had impacted regional stability. In closing, he recalled that resolution 181 had been a promissory note guaranteeing the creation of two States. Today’s text was a further fulfilment of that promise.
AHMED AL-JARMAN ( United Arab Emirates) congratulated Palestine for being accorded non-Member Observer State status. The historic recognition was an important step towards the settlement of the Palestinian question and the consolidation of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. “It represents a historical opportunity to overcome the present political crisis that has resulted from Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian lands, and should also be an exit out of the no-peace situation in the Middle East,” he said.
He went on to say that he hoped that an international move towards the formal acceptance to full membership would follow, since the Palestinian State now enjoyed the recognition of the overwhelming majority of Member States. He strongly condemned all hostile policies by Israel, emphasizing security for Israel and permanent cessation of violence in the region could not be achieved without imposing a just solution based on principles of international law. He also expressed deep concern over the current deadlock in peace negotiations, whose credibility was at stake due to breaches by the Israeli Government of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and terms of the peace process.
The international community should use influence on Israel, he said, to compel it to immediately stop all its unilateral policies which resulted in the freezing of peace negotiations. The United Arab Emirates would continue its political support and development aid to the Palestinian Authority, led by President Abbas. Israel must immediately end all its aggressive policies against the Palestinian people, and fully withdraw from all Palestinian and Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories.
MARIA LUIZA RIBIERO VIOTTI ( Brazil) firmly supported Palestinians’ legitimate aspiration for a sovereign, independent democratic and viable Palestinian State on the basis of 1967 borders, living in peace and security alongside Israel. To this day, the question of Palestine was among the most important threats to international peace and security, and, as the Brazilian President had stated in September, only a free, sovereign Palestine could fulfil Israel’s legitimate desires for peace with its neighbours. The establishment of a Palestinian State had become more urgent in light of the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
Establishing such a State was also the right response to the violence that had shortened the lives of innocent civilians, she said, citing the recent violence in Gaza as a reminder of the high human and political costs of a paralysed peace process. She called on all actors to fully commit to non-violence, dialogue and effective negotiations, as well as a lifting of the Gaza blockade. Reiterating that the Security Council must carry out its duties, she said an “inoperative Quartet and silent Security Council” did not serve the interests of peace. Turning to the United Nations, as President Abbas had done today, was consistent with Council and Assembly resolutions. Given the obstacles to the immediate admission of Palestine as a full United Nations Member, Brazil supported, as an interim measure, that Palestine be accorded non-Member State Observer status.
OSCAR LEÓN GONZÁLEZ ( Cuba) lamented the absence of an effective solution to end Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people and its occupation of their land. He said that Israel continued to defy the international community and United Nations resolutions. It also continued to intensify settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel’s acts of violence against Palestinian civilians had increased. Palestinians lived in dire socio-economic circumstances. The situation of women and children in the region was alarming. Those were reasons enough to adopt political measures of condemnation. There should also be binding Council decisions to punish the perpetrators.
He asked why the Council was so inactive in the face of overwhelming evidence. He asked why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had taken no action. Such silence had laid bear the hypocrisy of several developed countries. During its recent siege of Gaza, Israel had once again used it military and technical superiority to brutalize the Palestinian population. He strongly condemned that aggression and called on international community to take firmest support for Palestine. He firmly supported an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He supported today’s resolution and backed Palestine’s bid for full membership in the Organization, as well.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO ( Venezuela) said Lebanese, Sephardic Jews and others had made his country their home and the three monotheistic religions existed there in peace. Some 1.5 million people in the Arab immigration lived in Venezuela. His country was committed to liberty, sovereignty, territorial integrity and respect for international law, which was why his Government supported the Palestinian cause. He hoped for a new era in which “swords would be beaten into plough shares”. The Gaza Strip was the “largest open air prison in the world”, he said, citing Noam Chomsky. The State of Israel had been proclaimed unilaterally in 1948 and al-Nakba had begun for Palestinians.
He said inhumane policies were used to control Palestinians within the colonized territory. Institutions had been created to undermine Palestinian rights to their land and property. Some 4,500 Palestinians were in Israeli prisons and he called for their release. The Israeli political and military elite had implemented apartheid, carried out ethnic cleansing, and used weapons banned by international law on civilians. Israel must be held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Palestinians and the Assembly could not remain indifferent to Palestinians’ suffering. Today’s resolution marked an important step on the road to recognizing Palestine as a full United Nations Member State.
Mr. HASSAN ( Malaysia) said he was appalled that the global community took one week to stop Israel’s brutal, aggressive attack two weeks ago in Gaza, which killed 165 Palestinians and injured countless others. On 19 November, Malaysia’s Parliament passed a resolution condemning those attacks and stating its unwavering support for the Palestinians. The Parliament also called on the Council to fulfil its Charter responsibility and for Israel to be held accountable for the crimes committed against the Palestinians. He expressed sincere condolences to Palestinians who had died defending their homeland.
The report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People illustrated that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory had not improved and Israel continued to violate international law, including humanitarian and human rights law. The occupying Power systematically continued to demolish Palestinian homes, displace Palestinians and intensify settlement building. In 2011, it had destroyed 110 homes. Israel clearly intended to change the demographic reality on the ground. It had further revoked the residency status of more than 14,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem without reason or discourse. He was equally appalled by the increasing number of settler violence incidents.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza had rendered 80 per cent of the population there dependent on humanitarian aid, he said. Another 44 per cent was food insecure; 39 per cent lived in poverty. He expressed concern over the Committee’s findings. If Israel was committed to a two-State solution, it must stop building settlements, dismantle existing ones, lift the blockade of Gaza, and allow aid to reach people. The international community must continue to support all recommendations in the Committee’s report to achieve the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and a negotiated settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that resulted in creation of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He paid respect and tribute to the Palestinian people’s courage and strength in the face of immense hardship. He fully supported Palestine’s application as a Member State and welcomed adoption of today’s text enhancing its status to Observer State.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said today’s adoption was further proof of the legitimacy of the Palestinian cause. “This is justice served,” he said, noting Syria’s support of Palestinian rights for the creation of a sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital, along borders decided upon in 1967, as well as the return of Palestinians to their homes and payment of reparations. He recalled resolution 20/73 in that regard, which defined Israel’s United Nations membership, calling on Israel to uphold its Charter obligations. Israel’s accession to the United Nations was contingent on its commitment to the creation of a Palestinian State and the return of refugees. But that commitment had been left aside.
Israel continued its hostile practices, refusing peace and viewing itself as a State above the law. Those protecting Israel had affirmed Israeli authorities would be protected at the United Nations, he said. Israel had applied an unjust settlement policy against Palestinians. It was the Palestinians’ right to live in freedom but that was impossible with Israel’s flouting of United Nations resolutions and pressure by some States to hamper the Palestinians’ full enjoyment of their rights. The Palestinian cause was a just one. Those that had voted against the resolution had failed the Palestinian people, as well as the “Palestinian Gandhi”, President Abbas. He asked how those States could be trusted when they talked about upholding international law, sovereignty and the rule of law. True justice required Palestine being accorded full Member status.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) welcomed the adoption by the great majority of Member States of the resolution providing Palestine the status of non-Member Observer State. Further, Morocco considered that negotiations were the only way to restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a sovereign State. Passage of the resolution was a logical result of the stalemate in the peace process. The time allocated to reach a peaceful settlement for a two-State solution had expired. The resolution was supported by all Palestinians and thus was a step towards Palestinian reconciliation.
Welcoming the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, he commended the efforts of the international parties who had helped to achieve it, and expressed the hope that the international community would work to prevent Israeli aggression and that there would be a new approach that would lead to the opening of the crossings and ending the blockade of Gaza. While condemning Israel’s continued settlement activity, which further annexed Palestinian lands, he said that, nevertheless, the path to peace should not be abandoned.
MOHAMED KHALED KHIARI ( Tunisia) reiterated his full support for the “heroic struggle of the Palestinian people to put an end” to the Israeli occupation. He noted that this was the Day of international Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Tunisia had supported an independent Palestine State with East Jerusalem as its capital. Congratulating on the “historic decision” taken by the General Assembly to grant Palestine non-Member Observer State status, he said that status would help Palestine play its role as a peace-loving nation internationally. However, he warned against complacency and the silence of the international community, saying that the Palestinian people continued to live under occupation.
Israeli settlers were trying to change the nature of Jerusalem by removing Arabic characteristics. The absence of a firm position by the international community could not continue. Given that the Palestinian people could not endure the ongoing situation, the international community was called on to take steps to break the stalemate in the negotiations. Efforts needed to be made to create a new dynamism to deal with the substantial issues. A two-State solution was essential.
JEROBEAM SHAANIKA ( Namibia) said his country had followed the issues surrounding the confiscation of land and destruction of homes to make room for new Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Thus, it was puzzling how support for a resolution seeking Palestine’s recognition by the United Nations could be considered counterproductive to the two-State solution. Support for the resolution was meant to enhance efforts leading to the creation of an independent, sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to coexist with Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders. Therefore, he did not consider voting for the resolution to be counterproductive to the peace process, which had been suspended for the past few years.
Namibia would continue to extend its unwavering support and solidarity with the people of Palestine as long as they were denied their right to self-determination, he said. His country fully supported the aspiration of Palestine for what the resolution had sought to achieve, and looked forward to the day when the State of Palestine finally joined the family of sovereign and independent nations. The United Nations Charter called on the international community “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”; it did not call for division through weakness and fear.
Vote on Status of Palestine at United Nations
The draft resolution on the Status of Palestine at the United Nations (document A/67/L.28) was adopted by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 9 against, with 41 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States.
Abstain: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.
Absent: Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Ukraine.
Posted on November 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Israel suffers humiliating defeat at UN
A New beginning for Palestine, their next step Full Membership as a Member State. Majority of the countries had express their desire to support Palestine as a full member with rights and responsibility in the floor of the UN.
“The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation,” said Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, as he called on the 193-member body to “issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine”. Indeed, following Israel’s latest aggression against the Gaza Strip, the international community now faced “the last chance” to save the long elusive two-State solution, he said, adding: “the window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out”.
Palestine by Majority Vote become State, even thought today it is not full membership open the door for a more clear resolution allowing Palestine to self determination, sovereignty and use and exploitation of its Natural resources.
The world are celebrating The International Day of Solidarity with Palestine.
Today by almost unanimous decision the General Assembly of the UN approved Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Bid to Upgraded Palestine Non member observant status To Non State Observant, many Palestinians around the world are not happy with this transition thinking that Mahmoud Abbas has betrayed the Palestinian cause. But one step at the time, and this Victory should be savored and use it to energize to keep fighting for the just and fare recognition of Palestine as a sovereign, independent State with all the benefits that grant this body of the UN.
In Gaza streets the celebration started as soon as the news were announced, “Now I hear shooting in the streets expression of this news today,You know, when the joy of the Palestinian people firing in the air” Shady Alassar, Gaza, Palestine.
Personally I m completely against the Two State solution, I more like the Final Solution for Israel- off course I m talking about the entity not the people…but at these moments Palestine needs this. It is the moment to grab the attention of the world. So I m pushing very hard, like I did Last year when Mahmoud Abbas submitted the Draft for Statehood. Off course I named the article “Palestine Bid Member State hijacked”, because the stream media made all this chaos on the news on the “Non State Member” instead of full Member Statehood as Mahmoud Abbas drafted their Bid last November, but the rumors rolled with all the pressure from the country leaders, and the misinformation started growing this campaign pressing with this Mahmoud Abbas to change his decision to bid for “Non State Member”.
The Palestinians Council was pressured to re evaluated this opportunity that according to few Pro Israel analysts a gift to Palestinians.
Palestine has never been in position to chose an advantageous offer from Israel, and 65 years ago when the Palestinians Arab Population were expelled from their lands, and ignored the “UN offers” to declared a Palestinian state side by side with their “Jews Neighbors” it has always been a wound hard to heal for Palestinians. The Palestinian resistance had always seen two state solution as a betrayal and it is, because accepting a Palestinian State on the land that Israel has left for Palestinians it is legitimizing the illegal State of Israel.
Many could see this as give away of the lands stolen in 1948, when UN resolution 181 partition Palestinian, creating an exodus of expelled Palestinians the greatest of political issues afterwards. Every political move over the years has been impeded by the right of return. A right that it has to been respected, but the conditions on the ground, set up by the unconditional support of the word leaders and the Arab puppets of the middle east.
The overwhelmed majority had showed their support for Palestine, the people in their majority believes that this should have been an opportunity to claim full Statehood Membership for Palestine, but this is just the strategy of Palestinians leaders to win the heart and minds of the people of the world then keep pushing for the next stage that it is Full Member Statehood.
Then the touchy subject comes to the mind of Palestinians that have opposed the creation of Israel in the first place, because then the UN, the world in general , and the Palestinians will be legitimizing Israel. The Two State solution those magic words bring mixing emotions to the Political spectrum.
Will give a triumph to Israel, but will be temporal, I m almost sure, very sure that Israel is in decline.
Israel can not support their bloody campaign of Victim hood any longer.
The Reality and the truth i in the faces of the leaders and the people. We the people are making this possible. S o, this is what I think.
We congratulate the Palestinian People, they seen clearly today that their plight is being heard, now they know that the illegal occupation has been acknowledged on the Floor of the United Nations.
The majority of the delegations expressed their desire to see the end of the Israel occupation of Palestinians Lands. They want to see an end of the violence, the halt to the illegal settlements that according to International Law are illegal.
The transfer of settlers it is a war crime. The majority expressed their concern regarding Israel unwillingness and the lack of seriousness on the peace talks. Many of the delegations spoke of the threat in the Middle East with the belligerent actions of Israel that undermine peace not only in Palestine but in the whole region.
Long Live Free Palestine.
Posted on November 28, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Some excerpts from The Australian
UPDATED Posted by Marivel Guzman
In 2011 Mahmoud Abbas applied for Statehood, as a full State not the non-member observer state that the UN and all the Western Countries are talking about.
Palestine it is already observer member since 1974 with no right not vote on issues of important. The Media is hijacking Palestine Bid for Statehood. All the propaganda being distributed in the major Paid Media Outlet are lies, they trying to convince Mahmoud Abbas to bid for Non-Member observer, trying to enticed Mr Abbas to abandon his intention to bid for Statehood. All the buzz going around telling Palestinians that if Abbas bid it will lose money, saying which country will vote yes and No, all it is sick Israel-US propaganda.
It is up to All of us in the free world, to speak, to protest, to boycott, to question against the US or any other country that do not agree with the Independence of Palestine.
There is no more time for mockery “Peace Talks”, they were never intended to solve the conflict but to continue the occupation which some how in the road of 65 years has become “Legal”, go figure how the “Elite” understand democracy and freedom for others. All we know is that UN (Club of 5) were never partners for peace, not for the Palestinians or for no one. Now the best they can do is to stay on the sidelines and let the people to choose their destiny.
THE bid for UN recognition tonight could bring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas new diplomatic weight and tools, but also cost his people hundreds of millions in much-needed cash.
The Arabs States will gladly give money to Palestine if Israel is out of the way. US should stop giving any money to Israel and fix its own economy.
Mr Abbas is assured of triumph at the UN General Assembly when he seeks backing for his bid to go from “observer entity” to “non-member observer state”. The US and Israel will be unable to spoil his big day. These are the enticing goodies offerings to Mr Abbas. The PR is strong against Palestine, but after the triumph in Gaza, the energy is contagious, and the open support from Iran is a strong additive to this race for independence.
The Palestinians have focused on getting support from European nations. France came through yesterday when Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told parliament the country would vote for the resolution. Portugal will also vote yes and Switzerland will probably back the resolution, but Germany is expected to vote no or abstain. Britain’s position remains unclear. Julia Gillard said on Tuesday that Australia would abstain.
“Victory will not give the Palestinians a vote at the 193-member assembly. But they will be able to join UN agencies and sign treaties for which the UN Secretary-General is the record keeper.” The farce seems credible, but do not let the smoke to blur the mirror. If Mr Abbas summit the Bid for Statehood how was originally intended, it gives all the rights on the floor of the United Nations.
The vote “implies recognition of statehood and it gives them certain privileges” and “a certain prestige”, said Vera Jelinek, dean of New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.-this wording is misleading, the observer status was recognized since 1974, when Yasset Arafat was invited to speak on the floor of the United Nations. This remind me of another hijacked moment. On November 11 this year Palestinians were commemorating the 8th Anniversary of Yasset Arafat death, but instead Palestinians in Gaza were running for cover, as Israel assault was already started, not the November 14 date that was widely publicized.
The Palestinians will be able to go to UN conferences open to all states and to vote like other states. The Vatican used its observer status to raise sensitive issues at UN conferences on women and population.
The most valuable prize for Mr Abbas could be recourse to the International Criminal Court. The prospect of an ICC prosecutor looking into Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank was one of the Israeli government’s major worries, diplomats said.
And it is a threat that Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour dangled yesterday.
If Israeli authorities did not “respect resolutions of the Security Council, continue to illegally build settlements, which is a war crime from the point of view of the ICC and the Rome statute, then we will consult with all of our friends” over how to bring Israel into compliance.
The ICC is not a UN agency, however.
The legal apparatus of ICC only work if any of these instances are meet:
1.- If the State is signatory of the Rome Status. As of July 2012, 121 state are states parties to the Statute of the Court.Israel voted against the adoption of the Rome Statute but later signed it for a short period. In 2002, the United States and Israel, “unsigned” the Rome Statute, indicating that they no longer intend to become states parties and, as such, they have no legal obligations arising from their signature of the statute.
Israel states that it has “deep sympathy” with the goals of the Court. However, it has concerns that political pressure on the Court would lead it to reinterpret international law or to “invent new crimes”. It cites the inclusion of “the transfer of parts of the civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory” as a war crime as an example of this, whilst at the same time disagrees with the exclusion of terrorism and drug trafficking. Israel sees the powers given to the prosecutor as excessive and the geographical appointment of judges as disadvantaging Israel which is prevented from joining any of the UN Regional Groups.
2.- If a offense it is committed in the State being charge with a war crime. And under the present legal terms, the crimes are committed in Palestine, not Israel.
3.- If the UN security council summit the charge to the ICC. We know for a fact that the 15 member of the UN security council will never summit a draft to the ICC to file a complain against Israel. At least not for the moment. Israel enjoys of full backing of the Western Nations whose blind support had shadowed any resolutions that will bring Israel to comply with its International Obligations.
There is no real advantage for Palestine unless is recognized as a Full State Member. The benefits will be vary in degree, if it is recognized State with full benefits, Palestine will be able to shop for small and big weapons. The Oslo accord limit Palestine from acquiring weapons. Another of the benefits will be getting loans from the IMF.
The binding of the Oslo and David accords will be expired which make Palestine free to deal with the world, to explode its own natural resources, to dig for water and control it, which it is one of the biggest issues that Palestine faces today. Israel control 95 % of the water of Palestine.
Israel will have no excuse to expel Palestinians from West Bank, or to control the Jordan and Egyptian borders. All these only if the UN enforced the resolutions agreed on regarding Israel on previous resolutions, resolutions that had been ignore by Israel.
Once a state Palestinians citizens will obtain the State Status and the stateless status will be obsolete giving benefits in foreign countries.
All the foreign agencies will have to put Palestine back in the map.
The signatories of the Rome statute which set up the ICC would have to carry out their own vote first to accept the Palestinians, diplomats said.
ICC membership could be “a little trickier”, said Ms Jelinek. “I am not sure whether it would accept a ratification from an observer state in the UN.”
Mr Abbas wants super-observer status at the UN to boost Palestinian recognition and force Israel back into talks.
The US and Israel could also inflict financial damage on the Palestinians. This will be the best thing that can happen to Palestine. Once Israel out of Palestinians lands, Palestine can work its national resources that amount to 7 billions annually
US law bans financing for any international body that recognizes a Palestinian state. When the Palestinians were voted on to the UN Cultural and Educational Organization last year, the US administration withdrew more than $US70 million in funding.
The cost of the Iron Dome single intercepting missile is 90 millions US dollars. US spent 1 billion 275 millions in the Iron Dome in 2012. Palestine it is self sufficient if Israel stop stealing its National Resources.
The disinformation going around is a real knock out of Israel against Palestine, there is no Indefinite Veto Power, the Security Council will make a recommendation on the Request from Palestine Authority to Be accepted as a Full Member of the UN being the 194 state. But the real power is in the General Assembly of the UN, that needs 3/4 of of the countries to pass a resolution. And nothing is written in stone, any compromise reach on this historic resolution should be implemented and could be change for the good of the parties involved. Especially for Palestinians that have always get the worse part in any accords in the past. And by the way, those accords should be obsolete, they were never implemented from Israel part, but were forced on the Palestinians. We the People Stand for Justice and Peace; Palestine UN State 2011
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian authority, will discuss the application later this week at the UN General Assembly. While France, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has come out in support of Palestine, the United States has already signaled that it will attempt to block the bid.
Victoria Nuland, US spokesperson for the Department for Defense, said, “We disagree with our oldest allies [the French] on the topic, and they know it. But it’s their choice how to move forward”.
Nuland added that the only way for the two-state solution to work is if Israel and Palestine first commit to peace talks. She indicated that the US would vote ‘no’ in the assembly.
Palestinians will go to the UN on September 23...Do not believe in rumors
A Strategy for Israel in the 1980′s…Read this article in entirely and see how the agenda is been followed to the last step. So do not get discourage, we keep fighting, we moving to a new era
People we do not know.…….We interact few times in the walls, in the channels, the spaces and we call ourselves, friends, brothers, comrades. We go to extreme lengths to fight for your rights, to fight for your country, to fight for your causes. We stand strong for a reason we do not completely understand, other than doing social justice to peace and friendship. What really Happen to all of us?, that suddenly we raise our voices for your flag, for the protection of your individual liberties, your civil rights
Posted on November 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News
UPDATED by Marivel Guzman
Source Morocco News Board
Washington/Morocco News Board– Watching President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar two weeks ago, some Moroccans were left wondering if the White House fully appreciates their country’sclose alliance with the United States. Some in the Moroccan community in the United State have expressed dissatisfaction with their diplomatic mission in Washington’s tepid efforts to articulate, package and sell an “Obama visit to Morocco” campaign to the current Administration House.
The successes of Morocco’s efforts in supporting Washington foreign and military policies at different echelons and fields are undeniable. From covert action in support of American intelligence operations to diplomatic assistance to push the American Agenda in North African and the Middle East, Rabat has been constantly and publicly on the side of the United States.
For several observers, the U.S.-Morocco alliance warrants an Obama visit. Rabat should not pay for Washington’s “terms of accommodation” with other nations in the Maghreb, especially if the regimes in question harbor anti-American sentiments. If the State Department bureaucrats keep playing the old-fashioned game of balance-of-power between Rabat and Algiers, the Moroccans should appeal to their natural allies in Washington to push for a clear recognition of their nations’ longstanding pro-American stands.
Relations between Morocco and Algeria “has been a decline since the 1995 terrorist attack in Morocco” and “since that day, there is a kind of climbing, then the inclination to recovery,” said Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, saying “the future is based on the will of the people.” North Africa United
Given, the public and not so public, critical role Morocco continues playing on behalf of America in the Middle East and North Africa, a question arises: Are the Moroccan officials in Washington actively and diligently pursuing efforts to get the Kingdom the
recognition it deserves in the United States?
Unlike other countries in the region, Morocco is not shy about its military cooperation with the United States. The Moroccan Military has been training with all branches of the American Armed forces since the North African country’s independence. The domestic press and public view such cooperation as a plus for the Royal Armed Forces that are in a semi-war state with their neighbor. If some media organs in the region hide the presence of Americans on their soil, the Moroccan press hails the Pentagon assistance as a natural collaboration between two allies.
U.S. Government, Lockheed Martin Provide “Comprehensive Package”
The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) unveiled the first four of 24 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft in a ceremony Thursday at Ben Guerrir Air Base in Morocco. Senior representatives from the Moroccan and U.S. governments and air forces were present for the historic event. Aero New Network
The Moroccan authorities got in hot waters over their role in assisting American intelligences services after the 9/11 attacks. While weathering intense criticism from domestic and international human rights organizations over its alleged role in rendition operations, Rabat stood by Washington taking a public relations beating in the process.
If Moroccans lack critical energy resources, they remain trusted partners who deliver. Rabat never played the terrorism card as a way to gain favors from the West. While some countries in North Africa criticize Washington openly and tout their importance to the Europeans in private, the Kingdom has been forward in dealing with the Americans. Furthermore, it never utilized the “war in terror” as a bait to ask for a special treatment from Washington.
Morocco has one of the biggest Uranium Phosphates Mines in the world- Morocco holds 75 % of Uranium Phosphates reserves of 85 Billions Tons-On September 25, 2012 AREVA and EDF announce the signature of two contracts which make a significant contribution to securing the long-term supply of natural uranium to EDF nuclear facilities.Areva These contracts thus further consolidate AREVA’s position as a key partner to acquired ServiTrade, a Mozambique-based construction equipment to mine Uranium. On November 12, 2012 Ameco adquired ServiTrade.
Cameco to buy Areva’s stake in Saskatchewan project:Cameco Corp., Canada’s largest uranium miner, said it agreed to buy Areva Resources Canada’s entire 27.94-per-cent stake in the northern Saskatchewan-based Millennium project for $150 million.
While some regimes have manipulated terror groups in North Africa and the Sahel to overstate their importance to the West, Moroccan special units have been offering unconditional and professional intelligence assistance to their American counterparts in the fight against terror and crime in the Sahel.
On foreign policy, Rabat has been a steadfast American ally in Mali, Libya, Syria and Iran. Morocco hosted several international conferences given the American agenda an Arab cover. Today, Morocco is actively supporting the Syrian revolution, helping implement the U.S. Iran containment strategy and pursing military aid to the new Libyan Armed Forces.
King Mohammed VI after conducting talks with his counterpart Jordanian King Abdullah II visited the Zaatari camp where the Royal Moroccan army (FAR)have been deployed for monthswith a field hospital, to treat the wounded from the ongoing civil war in Syria.
King inspected military installations and Moroccan medical personnel, visited the sick and injured, in the Moroccan hospital, which has treated tens of thousands of Syrian refugees since its establishment. North Africa United
An Obama visit will not only boost the Moroccan regime, it will encourage the social reformist movement in the country as well. It will be a public relations gesture that recognizes Morocco’ recent reforms and advocate for further freedoms.
An Obama trip will not “endanger” American business interests in other countries in the Maghreb where such visit is impossible, as some reluctant American executives may argue; it will in fact push for further liberalization and transparency of the business world in North Africa.
For numerous Moroccan Americans, the payback has been hard to come by in the form of a Presidential visit. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has been a good friend and a steady ally on the question of the Western Sahara but an Obama trip to Rabat will highlights Morocco’s importance to the United States. A “Barack in Rabat” headline will be a true recognition of Morocco’s vital assistance on intelligence and military matters to U.S. operations in Europe, the Sahel and the Middle East.
Posted on November 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source: Middle East Online and Doctors Without Borders
The King of Morocco has instructed the Moroccan army to set up a field hospital in Gaza as soon as possible. King Mohammed VI gave the order following a serious escalation in Israeli aggression against the beleaguered Palestinian territory.
King Mohammed VI says field hospital in Gaza Strip will help alleviate suffering of population victim to several days of Israel’s military aggression. Middle East Online
A spokesman for the Royal Palace, Abdul Haq Almurini, told the Moroccan News Agency that the hospital will be made up of members of specialist medical units of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, as well as civilian doctors and medical teams. “The medical teams will have multiple specialisms in surgery,” he pointed out. “The hospital will provide first-class services to those affected by the Israeli violence, and will work to enhance the current medical facilities in Gaza.”
On Tuesday November 27 arrived in Gaza the medical Moroccan delegation to offer free treatment and medicines to the Gaza Strip.
After the 8 days of the one sided war Gaza the situation was unsustainable, now Gaza is in the path to become part of the Middle East. With the first show of solidarity from an Arab/African Country it is reflected the national and pan-Arab spirit. With help from our Moroccan brothers, how serving children and families of martyrs and families of prisoners give hopes again to Gaza to see that liberation from the Israel occupation closer.
Shortages of medical supplies
The continuing Israeli embargo of the Gaza Strip, years of financial crisis within the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah and the chronic lack of cooperation between the Palestinian National Authority and Gaza authorities have all contributed to a deterioration in the capacity of the public health sector. Since mid-2011, health facilities have been facing a serious shortage of medicines and other supplies. MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without borders) donated essential medicines to the cardiology department of Al-Shifa hospital, and made other periodic donations as needs arose.
Assisting burn victims
Since 2007, MSF has been running a rehabilitation program for burn victims in the Gaza Strip. The team provides physiotherapy and wound dressing to patients referred from the burn units of Al-Shifa and Nasser hospitals. MSF also operates a specialized surgery program in Nasser hospital, which is in Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. Several times a year, teams of surgeons, operating theater nurses and anesthetists carry out complex surgical operations that are not otherwise available. Most of those who undergo surgery are children, and most suffer from burns.
At the end of 2011, MSF had 136 staff in Occupied Palestinian Territory. MSF has been working there since 1989.
The following is taken from an interview with Virginie Mathieu, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) head of mission for activities in Gaza and the Palestinian Territories, conducted by Cordelia Bonal of France’s Liberation newspaper, on November 21. The original can be found here.
What kinds of needs are there on the ground?
Since the start of Operation “Pillar of Defence,” there have been 140 deaths and a thousand wounded, about one third of them children. The doctors are overwhelmed. Some [people] who were gravely injured have been evacuated to Egypt through the open Rafah border crossing, but also [through] the Israeli border, which is worth noting. Others have been treated in the country. Despite the situation, the medical services in Gaza are good, with surgeons who are well practiced in field surgery. But we’re concerned that people who are injured or who need regular care are stuck at home or elsewhere, scared to go out because of the incessant bombings. The leaflets dropped Tuesday by the Israeli army calling for people to evacuate caused major panic. Lots of people left to find refuge elsewhere. The people there, who have already suffered through years of conflict, are under enormous stress.
What are the most urgent medical needs?
Lack of medicines is a chronic problem in Gaza. In Gaza they don’t have 40 percent of the medicines considered essential by the WHO [or] 65 percent of “consumables” (IV drips, needless…). We have been able to bring materials (gloves and bandages) and medicines (anaesthetics and disinfectants) in to the Gaza central pharmacy via Israel since the day after the first bombings. The pharmacy then sends that stock to 13 public hospitals according to their needs. There’s also a deficit in follow-up in Gaza. We’re able to provide support in the area of intensive and postoperative care.
Are you able to move around?
Very little. For the moment, we can only move around inside Gaza city. We can’t go to the north or the south of the territory. There has been shelling over our Gaza city clinic. A portion of our materials has been destroyed; a number of ambulances have been damaged, as have been the UN buildings and a hospital. This evening one of the two main roads in the Gaza strip was cut off. We can’t get to the inflatable hospital in Khan Younis that we’ve been using since 2011 – it’s in the south, maybe fifteen kilometers away. This hospital is nonetheless ready to be used as a triage area and an operating theater for minor surgery.
Do you think you’ll have to leave Gaza if the situation gets worse?
We are doing all we can to ensure the security of our staff. We’ll stay as long as we are able to, like the UN and the ICRC who are also present in the Gaza strip. As for the Palestinian members of our team, however, they couldn’t leave anyway.
doctors without borders visit Israel and Gaza to lend their humanitarian services in numerous occasions
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Cease of Fire conditions placed on Egypt?
The Gaza blockade is an Israel blockade not Egypt blockade. While Mubarak was power, he bent to Israel conditions as a dog, in exchange for US money disguised as Aid. Which was nothing more than Military Aid and Police training, throwing some old US helicopters to the plate.
Now we have a new Government that emerged from the Arab Spring. We have a Muslim brother, why will Egypt have not opened the Rafaf crossing as he promised when he took the chair.?
Now Egypt is being shown to look all good in the press for having negotiated the cease of fire between Israel and Hamas. Israel refused to accept France and Qatar help to reach a truce, and instead accepted Egyptian hands on the deal.
Now we wonder the inevitable question; Is Morsi already in US pockets and under Israel control?
Deputy minister of foreign affairs Ghazi Hamad said a delegation from the Palestinian government in Gaza would be in Cairo today to discuss with Egyptian officials the opening of Gaza crossings as part of the truce deal signed with the Israeli side.
It was agreed at the time that within 24 hours of the cease-fire, the parties would begin dealing with broader issues like easing restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza and allowing Palestinians more access to a buffer zone that Israel had imposed on the Gaza side of the border.
Hamad made his remarks to journalists during a business dinner organized by the Palestinian contractors union on Saturday to discuss the mechanisms to initiate the Qatari reconstruction projects in Gaza.
Hamad stressed that many solidarity delegations who visited Gaza lately promised to take part in the reconstruction of the war-torn enclave
The Hamas official affirmed that his government refuses to accept any politically-motivated financial help from any country, except for humanitarian reasons.
“We do not accept politicized funds neither from Qatar nor from Iran or Egypt. We will never be in the pocket of any side and we refuse to take political instructions from anyone,” the official emphasized.
He added that his government deal transparently and not politically with any assistance regarding Gaza reconstruction.
Maher Abu Sabha, the chief of the administration of crossings in the Hamas government, said there had been no changes as yet at the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt.
Israel and Palestine are momentarily at a ceasefire, but the potential reasoning behind the recess could have some real international implications. Israel’s Debka-Israel Web Site- reports that the pause in fighting comes after the US promised to send troops to Sinai.
According to Debka, US troops will soon be en route to the Sinai peninsula, Egyptian territory in North Africa that’s framed by the Suez Canal on the West and Israel on the East. In its northeast most point, Sinai is but a stone’s throw from Palestinian-controlled Gaza, and according to Debka, Hamas fighters there have been relying on Iranian arms smugglers to supply them with weaponry by way of Egypt.
Claim that Egypt denied, saying that Egypt will never allow US troops in its territory, the only foreign troops allowed are the UN observer peace keeper in the Sinai.
Will all this back and forth “NEWS” are nothing but distractions, while the US and Israel prepare their war against Iran?
Israel bombed a weapons factory in Sudan few months ago, but denied the Sudanese charge. Israel alleges that Iran is using Sudan weapons manufactures to built the Fir 5 missiles that were given to Gaza. Same missiles that change the balance of this one side war.
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source Israel Defense
Iron Dome was the news yesterday, the 1 billion dollars “Defense System” was being portrayed as the winner of this one sided war with Gaza. Israel was bragging that their Iron Dome success was 90 % when in reality was only 28 %. The inconsistency on the numbers are astonishing. Knowing that this Iron Dome was completely financed by the Department of defense of the US with a 1 billion 275 millions of American tax payer money, we wonder why now they are putting aside the Iron Dome News and they started another PR campaign.
The New David’s Sling Missile System has been awarded to Rafael since 2006, why now the buzz?
According to Lieutenant General Henry Obering, former director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, “We wanted a truly co-managed program because the United States will be very interested in this for our own purposes.”
Israel has successfully test fired the David’s Sling missile defense system on November 25 2012, bringing the country’s air interception capabilities one step closer to the potential to intercept all enemy fire, the country’s military has announced. This is 4 days after the truce of cease of fire was agreed with Gaza. Did they wait after the rockets from Hamas stop to test their system?
According to Israel sources they knew of the existence of Fir 5, Iran missiles technology in Hamas hands.
“The Fajr missiles revived Arab and Islamic community’s prestige and dignity, an Iraqi lawmaker said after Iran taught Palestinian Resistance groups how to make Fajr missiles which, military analysts say, made Israel drop its war plans and demand a ceasefire with Palestinian groups.
“The Iranian Fajr-3 and 5 (the technology of) which had been given to the Palestinian Resistance restored the (shattered) awe of Palestine, Arab and Islamic Ummah against Israel,” Borzoni stated, adding that these missiles proved that “there is no Iron Dome contrary to what was claimed by the Zionist enemy”. ” FARS Agency
The David’s Sling battery, stationed at an undisclosed desert location in Southern Israel, fired and destroyed the incoming missile with a two-stage interceptor.
“The Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency completed the first phase of the development of the David’s Sling Weapon System, by conducting a successful interception,” the statement said.
The complex, also known as the Magic Wand, is a military system developed jointly by the Israeli military contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American contractor Raytheon. It is designed to intercept medium- to long-range missiles fired from 40 km to 300 km away. The Fajr-5 Iranian Missiles capabilities is 80 kilometers. If Iron Dome was a failure why Israel did not use the David Sling Defense System? Real simple, they were selling the Iron Dome to the world. Now they are looking for more money from the US to complete their defense system. Lucky for United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 is about to expire and new money will be coming in for the 2013 give away
Political and military experts believe that Israel was shocked and later pushed to reassess its calculations after Palestinian groups responded to the Israeli army’s Wednesday aggression on Gaza with a stunning retaliation, hitting Tel Aviv, a move which eventually made Israel start an overture and change its war rhetoric about an impending ground incursion into Gaza to a tone of compromise in pursuit of truce.
The system is also designed to fill the gap between the other two functioning pillars of Israeli air defense: the Iron Dome short-range protection and the Arrow 2, a ballistic long-range defense system. The next generation of the Arrow is also being developed, and is set to be deployed in 2016. The military states that David’s Sling will “provide an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles.”
The new technology utilizes Stunner interceptors installed in 16-missile launcher. It works jointly with the Israel Aerospace Industries multi-mission radar (MMR) and could also be formatted to be used against enemy aircraft.
Projected to be fully operational by 2014, the new arsenal would be used to defend Israel’s border against oncoming missiles such as the Fajr and Fateh 100, M 600 and the Zelzal, which are often used by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which Tel Aviv calls a threat to its national security.
The David’s Sling system is intended to provide Israel with an additional layer of defense against short and medium-ranged missiles, thus strengthening the country’s air-defense layout which protects against the threat of missiles and rockets. Rafael is the chief contractor for the development of the David’s sling system, working in cooperation with Raytheon.
The radar used by the system is developed by Elta Systems, and its command and control system is developed by Elbit Systems.
Hamas rocket teams carried out an experiment against Israel’s wonder weapon: They fired a 16-rocket Grad salvo at Beersheba. Iron Dome blew up 8 in mid-air, 4 landed outside built-up areas but 4 made it into the heart of the town. A few minutes later Hamas started shooting 14 Grades in volley after volley just a few minutes apart – altogether 30 rockets at the same target in the space of two hours.
The score was 8 to 22 in favor of the Hamas tactic. The experiment was designed to assess the Iron Dome teams’ post-operation reloading speed – information which is a close IDF secret.
What the Palestinians learned from the Beersheba experiment was that their strength against the Israeli defense system lies in numbers: the bigger the multiple missile barrage, the greater its chances of penetrating Iron Dome cover and reaching urban targets. They accordingly put together large batteries of 6 to 8 rockets each side by side and fired them all at the same time from underground silos.
The launchers were then folded back underground for concealment.
DEBKAfile’s military sources confirm that, like the Palestinians and Iranian missile engineers, the team which developed Iron Dome likewise used the Gaza operation as a testing ground. Certain improvements were introduced on the spot in the course of the hostilities. This process continues apace.
What happens if the interceptor missile misses it target? Do they do the same destruction that the missile itself ? If the interceptor misses the target and touch ground, what happens to it?
Israel is contracting enemies by the dozen, with all their Iron Domes, David’s Sling and Arrow defense system Israel will need to built
thousands of these Batteries if Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Palestine will decide that enough and enough of this arrogant bully.
Posted on Nov 26, 2012 by Akashma Online News
In much of the world, including China and the United States, dirty energy remains cheap and plentiful, with disastrous consequences.
By Chris Hedges
Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. The continued failure to respond aggressively to climate change, the report warns, will mean that the planet will inevitably warm by at least 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, ushering in an apocalypse.
The 84-page document,“Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided,” was written for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics and published last week. The picture it paints of a world convulsed by rising temperatures is a mixture of mass chaos, systems collapse and medical suffering like that of the worst of the Black Plague, which in the 14th century killed 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population. The report comes as the annual United Nations Conference on Climate Change begins this Monday [Nov. 26] in Doha, Qatar.
A planetwide temperature rise of 4 degrees C—and the report notes that the tepidness of the emission pledges and commitments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will make such an increase almost inevitable—will cause a precipitous drop in crop yields, along with the loss of many fish species, resulting in widespread hunger and starvation. Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to abandon their homes in coastal areas and on islands that will be submerged as the sea rises. There will be an explosion in diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever. Devastating heat waves and droughts, as well as floods, especially in the tropics, will render parts of the Earth uninhabitable. The rain forest covering the Amazon basin will disappear. Coral reefs will vanish. Numerous animal and plant species, many of which are vital to sustaining human populations, will become extinct. Monstrous storms will eradicate biodiversity, along with whole cities and communities. And as these extreme events begin to occur simultaneously in different regions of the world, the report finds, there will be “unprecedented stresses on human systems.” Global agricultural production will eventually not be able to compensate. Health and emergency systems, as well as institutions designed to maintain social cohesion and law and order, will crumble. The world’s poor, at first, will suffer the most. But we all will succumb in the end to the folly and hubris of the Industrial Age. And yet, we do nothing.
“It is useful to recall that a global mean temperature increase of 4°C approaches the difference between temperatures today and those of the last ice age, when much of central Europe and the northern United States were covered with kilometers of ice and global mean temperatures were about 4.5°C to 7°C lower,” the report reads. “And this magnitude of climate change—human induced—is occurring over a century, not millennia.”
The political and corporate elites in the industrialized world continue, in spite of overwhelming scientific data, to place short-term corporate profit and expediency before the protection of human life and the ecosystem. The fossil fuel industry is permitted to determine our relationship to the natural world, dooming future generations. Carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, increased from its pre-industrial concentration of about 278 parts per million (ppm) to more than 391 ppm in September 2012, with the rate of rise now at 1.8 ppm per year. We have already passed the tipping point of 350 ppm; above that level, life as we have known it cannot be sustained. The CO2 concentration is higher now than at any time in the last 15 million years. The emissions of CO2, currently about 35 billion metric tons per year, are projected to climb to 41 billion metric tons per year by 2020.
Because about 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by the greenhouse effect since 1955 is momentarily in the oceans, we have begun a process that, even if we halted all carbon emissions today, will ensure rising sea levels and major climate disruptions, including the continued melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets as well as the acidification of the oceans. The report estimates that if warming accelerates toward 4 degrees Celsius, sea levels will rise 0.5 to 1 meter, possibly more, by 2100. Sea levels will increase several meters more in the coming centuries. If warming can be keep to 2 degrees or below, sea levels will still rise, by about 20 centimeters by 2100, and probably will continue to rise between 1.5 and 4 meters above present-day levels by the year 2300. Sea-level rise, the report concludes, is likely to be below 2 meters only if warming is kept to well below 1.5 degrees. The rise in sea levels will not be uniform. Coastal areas in tropical regions will be inundated by sea-level rises that are up to 20 percent higher than those in higher latitudes.
“In particular, the melting of the ice sheets will reduce the gravitational pull on the ocean toward the ice sheets and, as a consequence, ocean water will tend to gravitate toward the Equator,” the report reads. “Changes in wind and ocean currents due to global warming and other factors will also affect regional sea-level rise, as will patterns of ocean heat uptake and warming. Sea-level rise impacts are projected to be asymmetrical even within regions and countries. Of the impacts projected for 31 developing countries, only 10 cities account for two-thirds of the total exposure to extreme floods. Highly vulnerable cities are to be found in Mozambique, Madagascar, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. For small island states and river delta regions, rising sea levels are likely to have far ranging adverse consequences, especially when combined with the projected increased intensity of tropical cyclones in many tropical regions, other extreme weather events, and climate change-induced effects on oceanic ecosystems (for example, loss of protective reefs due to temperature increases and ocean acidification).” Read more…
Posted on November 25, 2012 Akashma Online News
While the international media is busy with reports that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only agreed to the truce with Palestinians in Gaza if President Obama agreed to send U.S. troops into Sinai to stop the smuggling of arms from Iran into Gaza, Egypt is denying the story, saying it would never allow U.S. troops to be stationed in its country.
I annexed the official White House Press Release of the Conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, as you see nothing is said of troops for the Sinai.
Office of the Press Secretary
Readout of the President’s Call to Prime Minister Netanyahu
Posted on November 24, 2012 by Akashma Online News
by Richard Falk
The Gaza Ceasefire, unlike a similar ceasefire achieved after Operation Cast Lead four years ago, is an event that has a likely significance far beyond ending the violence after eight days of murderous attacks. It is just possible that it will be looked back upon as a turning point in the long struggle between Israel and Palestine. Many have talked about ‘the fog of war,’ but it pales besides the ‘the fog of truce making,’ and in our media-infected air, the outcomes along with conjectures about the future are already being spun in all possible directions. Supporters of every position give their own spin, and then proclaim ‘victory.’ But as with the violent phases of the conflict, it is clarifying to distinguish the more persuasive contentions and interpretations from those that are less persuasive. What follows is one such attempt at such clarification.
It remains too soon to tell whether the ceasefire will hold for very long, and if it does, whether its central provisions will be implemented in good faith. At this early moment, the prospects are not promising. Israel has already used excessive violence to disperse Palestinian civilians who gathered on the Gaza side of the border, with a few straying across into Israel, to celebrate what they thought was their new freedom now to venture close to the border. This so-called ‘no-go-area’ was decreed by Israel after its 2005 ‘disengagement’ has been a killing field where 213, including 17 children and 154 uninvolved, had lost their lives according to Israeli human rights organizations. Israeli security forces, after firing warning shots, killed one Palestinian civilian and wounded another 20 others with live ammunition. The Israeli explanation was that it had given warnings, and since there had been no agreement on new ground rules implementing the ceasefire, the old regime of control was still in place. It is notable that Hamas protested, but at this point has made no moves to cancel the ceasefire or to retaliate violently, but the situation remains tense, fragile, and subject to change.
Putting aside the precariousness of the current situation and the accompanying uncertainties, it remains useful to look at the process by which the ceasefire was brought about, how this sheds light on the changing dynamics of the conflict itself, as well as discloses some underlying shifts in the regional and global balances of forces.
First of all, the role and outlook of the Arab governments was far more pro-active than in past interludes of intensified Israel/Palestine violence. During attacks several leading foreign ministers from the region visited Gaza and were received by the Hamas governing authorities, thus undermining the Israeli policy of isolating Hamas and excluding it from participation in diplomacy affecting the Palestinian people. Egypt played the critical role in brokering the agreement, and despite the Muslim Brotherhood affiliation of its leaders. Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian President, emerged as the key diplomatic figure in the process and widely praised by the West for his ‘pragmatism.’ This can be understood as recognition of Morsi’s capability as a statesman to address the concerns of both sides without intruding his own pro-Palestinian outlook. Indeed, the auspices of this brokered agreement inverted what Americans have brought to the table in past negotiations, a pretension of balance, a reality of partisanship. Read more…
Posted on November 24, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Originally Posted on November 4, 2012
Source Noam Chomsky Info Page
Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.
The intensity of this commitment on the part of the Israeli political leadership has been dramatically illustrated just in the past few days, as they warn that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given limited recognition at the UN. That is not a new departure. The threat to “go crazy” (“nishtagea”) is deeply rooted, back to the Labor governments of the 1950s, along with the related “Samson Complex”: we will bring down the Temple walls if crossed. It was an idle threat then; not today.
The purposeful humiliation is also not new, though it constantly takes new forms. Thirty years ago political leaders, including some of the most noted hawks, submitted to Prime Minister Begin a shocking and detailed account of how settlers regularly abuse Palestinians in the most depraved manner and with total impunity. The prominent military-political analyst Yoram Peri wrote with disgust that the army’s task is not to defend the state, but “to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim (“niggers,” “kikes”) living in territories that God promised to us.”
Gazans have been selected for particularly cruel punishment. It is almost miraculous that people can sustain such an existence. How they do so was described thirty years ago in an eloquent memoir by Raja Shehadeh (The Third Way), based on his work as a lawyer engaged in the hopeless task of trying to protect elementary rights within a legal system designed to ensure failure, and his personal experience as a Samid, “a steadfast one,” who watches his home turned into a prison by brutal occupiers and can do nothing but somehow “endure.”
Since Shehadeh wrote, the situation has become much worse. The Oslo agreements, celebrated with much pomp in 1993, determined that Gaza and the West Bank are a single territorial entity. By then the US and Israel had already initiated their program of separating them fully from one another, so as to block a diplomatic settlement and punish the Araboushim in both territories.
Punishment of Gazans became still more severe in January 2006, when they committed a major crime: they voted the “wrong way” in the first free election in the Arab world, electing Hamas. Demonstrating their passionate “yearning for democracy,” the US and Israel, backed by the timid European Union, at once imposed a brutal siege, along with intensive military attacks. The US also turned at once to standard operating procedure when some disobedient population elects the wrong government: prepare a military coup to restore order.
Gazans committed a still greater crime a year later by blocking the coup attempt, leading to a sharp escalation of the siege and military attacks. These culminated in winter 2008-9, with Operation Cast Lead, one of the most cowardly and vicious exercises of military force in recent memory, as a defenseless civilian population, trapped with no way to escape, was subjected to relentless attack by one of the world’s most advanced military systems relying on US arms and protected by US diplomacy. An unforgettable eyewitness account of the slaughter — “infanticide” in their words — is given by the two courageous Norwegian doctors who worked at Gaza’s main hospital during the merciless assault, Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse, in their remarkable book Eyes in Gaza.
President-elect Obama was unable to say a word, apart from reiterating his heartfelt sympathy for children under attack — in the Israeli town Sderot. The carefully planned assault was brought to an end right before his inauguration, so that he could then say that now is the time to look forward, not backward, the standard refuge of criminals.
Of course, there were pretexts — there always are. The usual one, trotted out when needed, is “security”: in this case, home-made rockets from Gaza. As is commonly the case, the pretext lacked any credibility. In 2008 a truce was established between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli government formally recognizes that Hamas observed it fully. Not a single Hamas rocket was fired until Israel broke the truce under cover of the US election on November 4 2008, invading Gaza on ludicrous grounds and killing half a dozen Hamas members. The Israeli government was advised by its highest intelligence officials that the truce could be renewed by easing the criminal blockade and ending military attacks. But the government of Ehud Olmert, reputedly a dove, chose to reject these options, preferring to resort to its huge comparative advantage in violence: Operation Cast Lead. The basic facts are reviewed once again by foreign policy analyst Jerome Slater in the current issue of the Harvard-MIT journal International Security.
The pattern of bombing under Cast Lead was carefully analyzed by the highly informed and internationally respected Gazan human rights advocate Raji Sourani. He points out that the bombing was concentrated in the north, targeting defenseless civilians in the most densely populated areas, with no possible military pretext. The goal, he suggests, may have been to drive the intimidated population to the south, near the Egyptian border. But the Samidin stayed put, despite the avalanche of US-Israeli terror.
A further goal might have been to drive them beyond. Back to the earliest days of the Zionist colonization it was argued across much of the spectrum that Arabs have no real reason to be in Palestine; they can be just as happy somewhere else, and should leave — politely “transferred,” the doves suggested. This is surely no small concern in Egypt, and perhaps a reason why Egypt does not open the border freely to civilians or even to desperately needed materials
Sourani and other knowledgeable sources observe that the discipline of the Samidin conceals a powder keg, which might explode any time, unexpectedly, as the first Intifada did in Gaza in 1989 after years of miserable repression that elicited no notice or concern,
Merely to mention one of innumerable cases, shortly before the outbreak of the Intifada a Palestinian girl, Intissar al-Atar, was shot and killed in a schoolyard by a resident of a nearby Jewish settlement. He was one of the several thousand Israelis settlers brought to Gaza in violation of international law and protected by a huge army presence, taking over much of the land and scarce water of the Strip and living “lavishly in twenty-two settlements in the midst of 1.4 million destitute Palestinians,” as the crime is described by Israeli scholar Avi Raz. The murderer of the schoolgirl, Shimon Yifrah, was arrested, but quickly released on bail when the Court determined that “the offense is not severe enough” to warrant detention. The judge commented that Yifrah only intended to shock the girl by firing his gun at her in a schoolyard, not to kill her, so “this is not a case of a criminal person who has to be punished, deterred, and taught a lesson by imprisoning him.” Yifrah was given a 7-month suspended sentence, while settlers in the courtroom broke out in song and dance. And the usual silence reigned. After all, it is routine.
And so it is. As Yifrah was freed, the Israeli press reported that an army patrol fired into the yard of a school for boys aged 6 to 12 in a West Bank refugee camp, wounding five children, allegedly intending only “to shock them.” There were no charges, and the event again attracted no attention. It was just another episode in the program of “illiteracy as punishment,” the Israeli press reported, including the closing of schools, use of gas bombs, beating of students with rifle butts, barring of medical aid for victims; and beyond the schools a reign of more severe brutality, becoming even more savage during the Intifada, under the orders of Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, another admired dove.
My initial impression, after a visit of several days, was amazement, not only at the ability to go on with life, but also at the vibrancy and vitality among young people, particularly at the university, where I spent much of my time at an international conference. But there too one can detect signs that the pressure may become too hard to bear. Reports indicate that among young men there is simmering frustration, recognition that under the US-Israeli occupation the future holds nothing for them. There is only so much that caged animals can endure, and there may be an eruption, perhaps taking ugly forms — offering an opportunity for Israeli and western apologists to self-righteously condemn the people who are culturally backward, as Mitt Romney insightfully explained.
Gaza has the look of a typical third world society, with pockets of wealth surrounded by hideous poverty. It is not, however, “undeveloped.” Rather it is “de-developed,” and very systematically so, to borrow the terms of Sara Roy, the leading academic specialist on Gaza. The Gaza Strip could have become a prosperous Mediterranean region, with rich agriculture and a flourishing fishing industry, marvelous beaches and, as discovered a decade ago, good prospects for extensive natural gas supplies within its territorial waters.
By coincidence or not, that is when Israel intensified its naval blockade, driving fishing boats toward shore, by now to 3 miles or less.
The favorable prospects were aborted in 1948, when the Strip had to absorb a flood of Palestinian refugees who fled in terror or were forcefully expelled from what became Israel, in some cases expelled months after the formal cease-fire.
In fact, they were being expelled even four years later, as reported in Ha’aretz (25.12.2008), in a thoughtful study by Beni Tziper on the history of Israeli Ashkelon back to the Canaanites. In 1953, he reports, there was a “cool calculation that it was necessary to cleanse the region of Arabs.” The original name, Majdal, had already been “Judaized” to today’s Ashkelon, regular practice.
That was in 1953, when there was no hint of military necessity. Tziper himself was born in 1953, and while walking in the remnants of the old Arab sector, he reflects that “it is really difficult for me, really difficult, to realize that while my parents were celebrating my birth, other people were being loaded on trucks and expelled from their homes.”
Israel’s 1967 conquests and their aftermath administered further blows. Then came the terrible crimes already mentioned, continuing to the present day.
The signs are easy to see, even on a brief visit. Sitting in a hotel near the shore, one can hear the machine gun fire of Israeli gunboats driving fishermen out of Gaza’s territorial waters and towards shore, so they are compelled to fish in waters that are heavily polluted because of US-Israeli refusal to allow reconstruction of the sewage and power systems that they destroyed.
The Oslo Accords laid plans for two desalination plants, a necessity in this arid region. One, an advanced facility, was built: in Israel. The second one is in Khan Yunis, in the south of Gaza. The engineer in charge of trying to obtain potable water for the population explained that this plant was designed so that it cannot use sea water, but must rely on underground water, a cheaper process, which further degrades the meager aquifer, guaranteeing severe problems in the future. Even with that, water is severely limited. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which cares for refugees (but not other Gazans), recently released a report warning that damage to the aquifer may soon become “irreversible,” and that without remedial action quickly, by 2020 Gaza may not be a “liveable place.”
Israel permits concrete to enter for UNRWA projects, but not for Gazans engaged in the huge reconstruction needs. The limited heavy equipment mostly lies idle, since Israel does not permit materials for repair. All of this is part of the general program described by Israeli official Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, after Palestinians failed to follow orders in the 2006 elections: “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” That would not look good.
And the plan is being scrupulously followed. Sara Roy has provided extensive evidence in her scholarly studies. Recently, after several years of effort, the Israeli human rights organization Gisha succeeded to obtain a court order for the government to release its records detailing plans for the diet, and how they are executed. Israel-based journalist Jonathan Cook summarizes them: “Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day … an average of only 67 trucks — much less than half of the minimum requirement — entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.” And even this estimate is overly generous, UN relief officials report.
The result of imposing the diet, Mideast scholar Juan Cole observes, is that “[a]bout ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition … in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers.” The US and Israel want to ensure that nothing more than bare survival is possible.
“What has to be kept in mind,” observes Raji Sourani, “is that the occupation and the absolute closure is an ongoing attack on the human dignity of the people in Gaza in particular and all Palestinians generally. It is systematic degradation, humiliation, isolation and fragmentation of the Palestinian people.” The conclusion is confirmed by many other sources. In one of the world’s leading medical journals, The Lancet, a visiting Stanford physician, appalled by what he witnessed, describes Gaza as “something of a laboratory for observing an absence of dignity,” a condition that has “devastating” effects on physical, mental, and social wellbeing. “The constant surveillance from the sky, collective punishment through blockade and isolation, the intrusion into homes and communications, and restrictions on those trying to travel, or marry, or work make it difficult to live a dignified life in Gaza.” The Araboushim must be taught not to raise their heads.
There were hopes that the new Morsi government in Egypt, less in thrall to Israel than the western-backed Mubarak dictatorship, might open the Rafah crossing, the sole access to the outside for trapped Gazans that is not subject to direct Israeli control. There has been slight opening, but not much. Journalist Laila el-Haddad writes that the re-opening under Morsi, “is simply a return to status quo of years past: only Palestinians carrying an Israeli-approved Gaza ID card can use Rafah Crossing,” excluding a great many Palestinians, including el-Haddad’s family, where only one spouse has a card.
Furthermore, she continues, “the crossing does not lead to the West Bank, nor does it allow for the passage of goods, which are restricted to the Israeli-controlled crossings and subject to prohibitions on construction materials and export.” The restricted Rafah crossing does not change the fact that “Gaza remains under tight maritime and aerial siege, and continues to be closed off to the Palestinians’ cultural, economic, and academic capitals in the rest of the [occupied territories], in violation of US-Israeli obligations under the Oslo Accords.”
The effects are painfully evident. In the Khan Yunis hospital, the director, who is also chief of surgery, describes with anger and passion how even medicines are lacking for relief of suffering patients, as well as simple surgical equipment, leaving doctors helpless and patients in agony. Personal stories add vivid texture to the general disgust one feels at the obscenity of the harsh occupation. One example is the testimony of a young woman who despaired that her father, who would have been proud that she was the first woman in the refugee camp to gain an advanced degree, had “passed away after 6 months of fighting cancer aged 60 years. Israeli occupation denied him a permit to go to Israeli hospitals for treatment. I had to suspend my study, work and life and go to set next to his bed. We all sat including my brother the physician and my sister the pharmacist, all powerless and hopeless watching his suffering. He died during the inhumane blockade of Gaza in summer 2006 with very little access to health service. I think feeling powerless and hopeless is the most killing feeling that human can ever have. It kills the spirit and breaks the heart. You can fight occupation but you cannot fight your feeling of being powerless. You can’t even dissolve that feeling.”
Disgust at the obscenity, compounded with guilt: it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end and allow the Samidin to enjoy the lives of peace and dignity that they deserve.
Noam Chomsky visited the Gaza Strip on October 25-30, 2012.
Posted on November 24, 20212 by Akashma Online News
Hamas does not use civilians as human shields-Israel uses Palestinians as human shields
by Abu Yasan
Hamas uses people as human shield, the biggest Zionist lies spread like wild fire by Paid Media.
Everyone knows that we’ve issued a the Gaza youth manifesto criticizing Hamas in a way no one did .. We said Fuck Hamas.
“F**k Israel! F**k USA! F**k UN!, F**k UNWRA!, F**k Hamas!, F**k Fatah!.
We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!
We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference. Like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; we want to scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this f*****g situation we live in.” Gaza Youth Manifesto
Everyone knows that I was thrown in prison for more than 30 times because I was so critical of Hamas.
And everyone knows that most of the members of group Gaza youth breaks out do not dare to identify themselves because they’re afraid due to what happened to the other known members.
I was reading some of the reports about the Israeli aggression on Gaza in online newspapers and mainstream media sites; There was a stereotype image adopted by all these newspapers which says “ Hamas was using civilians as human shields”. I was angry while reading that but did not give it much attention until I received an email from a journalist writing for a very well read newspaper asking whether Hamas used children and women as human shields; I lost what remained from the patience and I decided to write this clarification which I hope it would reach the biggest possible
amount of people so we can discredit the shameful Zionist claims…
The Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs- best propaganda tool to sway the sympathy of the world toward them when they slaughter Palestinians it is Spreading Lies regarding the Rockets coming from Gaza. Insisting that Hamas hides in between the civilian population, so poor Israel has no other choice but to bomb to pieces the Palestinians living in Gaza. They play around with the videos they doctor up, the angle they use to shot the videos will look as if the rockets are comming from the buildings, but it is trick of the eye. Gaza it is so densely populated that the agricultural lands, and empty fields at a distance will look in between the buildings. This is a Zionist lie.
I must say that I know Gaza more than it knows me.
I know that the number of people living in Gaza is abnormally large to the degree that its considered as the most densely populated area in the world. 1.8 million people living in less than . .360 km2. I know that the amount of empty areas is so tiny to the extent that it could be barely cited.
Even though, Gaza is very populated and the number of empty areas is so tiny, I must say that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, PFLP and all the members of resistance did not launch one single rocket from populated places .. The rockets were usually fired from agricultural or population-free areas ..Why?
Because it is known that Israel would respond with dozens of rockets on the area where the rocket was launched .. How do you think this resistance fighter would allow himself to kill those who he is trying to protect
Imagine with me: I am resistant fighter, I carry a rocket, the Zanana, F16 and holicapter are overhead , and the spying devices everywhere; they might kill me at any moment .. an F-16 missile,, a tank shell or a bullet from warships might kill me. Why do you think I am doing this? Why do I put my life at risk? What are the motivations?why? Why? Why?? many whys are asked here but the answer is simple.
The resistance fighter goes through all of that and launches a rocket because he believes that if Israel finds a strength to deter it, It will stop committing massacres.
Because he wants to protect the civilians in which he’s accused of using as a human shield.
Because his family, friends and neighbors in the camp want to live a normal life.
How would Israel dare to accuse Hamas or resistance fighters of using people as human shields? And how would they use them anyway? Like hide behind them? Does Israel really care about civilians? We’ve seen its last attacks on Gaza and we’ve seen the casualties; It was all civilians, Women, children and elderly..
When I was in Gaza, I lived in an area that is very close to the border, My house is the highest in the the north west of Gaza and from the top I could see the areas were rockets were launched and I can assure you that there was not a single rocket from populated areas ..
Most of the rockets were fired from the agricultural areas outside the camps .
At the end, I want to say that people should be careful from the Israeli lies and fraud of facts. Do not get deceived by Israel
Posted on November 24, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source Ma’an News Agency
One adult has been killed and at least 10 teenagers injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire at the Gaza-Israel border, Gaza medical authorities claimed.
The incident happened east of the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
The clashes erupted after a group of Palestinian farmers wandered into the disputed 300-meter buffer zone along the border, Al Jazeera reported.
The story speculates that the farmers may have entered the buffer zone to check on their crops after hearing a news report claiming that travel restrictions had been lifted for the area.
The deceased was identified as 20-year-old Anwar Qudaih, Gaza-based journalist Harry Fear reported.
In another incident Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip late Thursday after he approached a fence on the border, medics said.
The incidents occurred less than 24 hours since the start of a truce negotiated by Egypt between Israel and Hamas to end eight days of deadly airstrikes on the territory.
Haitham Abu Daqqa, 23, had approached the fence with a group of people carrying flags and celebrating the end of the conflict as Palestinians rallied for a second day.
The Israeli army described the demonstration as a riot.
An army spokesman said 200 Palestinians approached the fence and “began rioting” before causing damage to the fence. He said soldiers attempted to disperse the demonstrators without violence.
“In accordance with the rules of engagement, soldiers fired warning shots in the air,” he told Ma’an.
Israel and Hamas agreed to stop attacks on each other’s territory late Wednesday after eight days of airstrikes that killed some 170 Palestinians across Gaza.
The ceasefire was seen locally as a victory over Israel, which had threatened a ground operation but backed down after armed groups fired rockets as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
How ironic on November 8 when Israel stepped up its attacks on Gaza 6 days before the official Israel date of the attacks. Israel border IDF killed 13 year old boy Abu Daqqa.
“Thirteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Daqqa vividly recalls the moment his friend and cousin Ahmad Abu Daqqa was killed outside his southeast Gaza home while they were playing football last Thursday afternoon.” Electronic Intifada
Same last name of today first casualty of Israel IDF’s fire, after the cease of fire was agreed on November 23, 2012.
As always Israel never fulfill its promises, every time there is a truce of cease of fire, Israel got to be the first to brake it. It will turn around and will say that Palestinians broke the truce. Every Media outlet will parrot the lie, and what it could be a real effort to stop the madness will end up with the militias sending rockets as a retaliation and off course Israel will respond with more drones and bombs.
November 24, 2012, I killed and 17 Palestinians wounded on Gaza while celebrating the truce.
This does not come as a surprise, Israel had never ever fulfill a promise.
Posted on November 22, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source UN Press Center
The conflict between Hamas and Israel is having a “devastating and lasting impact” on children, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said today, stressing that the recent crisis would have long-term psychological effects on youth.
“This impact extends from a large number of deaths and injuries in Gaza to deep trauma and other psychological effects on children on both sides of the border,” the Committee said. “These experiences may affect them for many years to come, including into adulthood.”
While the Committee welcomed the ceasefire announced yesterday after a week of devastating violence in southern Israel and Gaza, it urged all parties to abide by their international obligation to ensure the protection of children.
The violence claimed the lives of at least 26 children, and more than 400 were injured, some gravely, by Israel attacks on Gaza, while Hamas shellfire into southern Israel wounded 14 children, the Committee said.
“Over the past week, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and Israeli children have lived under the terror of explosions caused by rocket attacks or air strikes and shelling,” the Committee said, adding that over the past few days, children were reported to be displaying signs of stress, including excessive crying, bed wetting, and screaming during the frequent explosions.
“Many other children in Gaza have lost parents or other loved ones, and are left deeply traumatized,” the Committee added.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also drew attention to the fact that many children had been forced to sleep in the cold in Gaza, because their windows had been shattered by explosions, or because they had kept the windows open, to avoid injury from shards of glass. In southern Israel, children also lived in fear and were forced to go into bomb shelters or to seek shelter in other parts of the country.
“Destruction of homes and damage to schools, streets and other public facilities gravely affect children and deprive them of their basic rights,” the Committee said. “The recent air and naval strikes on densely populated areas in Gaza with significant presence of children constitute gross violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and international humanitarian law.”
Meanwhile, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), today announced its 245 schools would be opening on Saturday, resuming classes for 225,000 children. The schools were used during the crisis to shelter some 10,000 displaced people who have now returned to their homes following the ceasefire.
UNRWA, which currently has a counselor in most of its schools, will additionally step up its psycho-social support in the wake of the fighting, offering increased services to traumatized children.
During the latest round of fighting, UNRWA was able to maintain health care in 19 centres, food distribution to 800,000 refugees, and the provision of essential sanitation services. The agency also donated $400,000 worth of medication and medical supplies from its stock to the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist health centres across the Gaza Strip, where there has been a shortage of medical resources.
“The vast majority of UNRWA’s primary health-care centers have remained open throughout the fighting, but even before this recent escalation, there were significant shortages of medicines and supplies for Gaza’s hospitals,” said Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza Robert Turner.
UNRWA has also begun assessing damage to refugee shelters and will start providing cash for rent if homes are destroyed, or support to repair damaged buildings.
“As we continue with our immediate emergency and recovery work, we must not forget that almost every humanitarian and economic indicator shows a very bleak outlook,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
Posted on November 22, 2012 by Akashma Online News
People celebrates in Gaza streets the defeat of Israel. My friends from Gaza call me in skype with tears of joy, with the V of victory in their hands. I m bursting with happiness and hopes that Israel for once in their existence fulfill a promise.
Both parties agreed to cease the fire. Off course Gaza is in ruins. Israel is fearful of more rockets. Israel was not expecting the new remote control Rockets that inflicted damage to their ‘precious’ Tel Aviv.
For Palestinians that had lived 4 generations of Occupation, where death was a constant companion, and violence part of their daily life this latest assault only proved once again their resilience and faith in God.
For them winning the war was possible in two fronts; if they die they would go to paradise and claim forever their piece of Palestine. If they win they get to stay another day to keep resisting the occupation. So there chances double for Palestinians. For Israel this campaign resulted in another public defeat. The bombing of residential areas and destruction of the infrastructure showed the world the ugly side of Israel. The chosen ones that kill just for pleasure.
There was no necessity to pound Gaza with missiles as if Israel was in a real war. This one sided war, where Israel has all the planes, the drones, Apache helicopters, gun boats and thousands of missiles was just a feasting with blood. Again Israel lose the PR campaign, and United States being her loyal puppy become a partner in crime.
Gaza will raise from its ashes, because Gaza under siege and under the bombs still Gaza Palestine.
How to react and help others in Gaza if Israel bombard this tiny peace of land in the Mediterranean?
Gaza more than an occupied nation under siege look more like a big open prison, where close to two millions residents live under the military boot of Israel. Palestinians ask themselves this question many times.
Why will the US will veto any resolution that promise justice for Palestinians?
How can they go to sleep at night knowing that we are being massacre, that we are being exterminated slowly. Can you see that Israel is committing genocide? How many of us need to die under Israel War Planes and Tanks before someone come to our rescue?es. They have nowhere to run, we just saw again the brutality of Israel. We witness the deaths raising day by day. So what Palestinians do? They pray and wait for the world to hear their cries.
If Israel follow up in its promise to stop the attacks then this agreement means that Gaza Siege is over as well. That was the condition for the militias to stop the rockets attacks.
“Text of Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement“
Israel and Hamas agreed Wednesday to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire accord to end a week of violence in and around the Gaza Strip following days of marathon talks.
Here is the text of the ceasefire agreement which is set to take effect at 1900 GMT:
“Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.
“All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
“Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
“Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.”
“Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.
“Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
“Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.”
Posted on November 21, 2012 by Akashma Online News
By Hisham Elkoustaf
Morocco World News
Orange County, California, Nov 21, 2012
This morning, as part of my quotidian perusal of international sources for honest journalism, I was intrigued by the following news headline, “America is with you.” I became very angry as I thought I was reading a statement from US Congress expressing solidarity with its Israeli masters. The language was actually a direct quote from President Obama during his speech at the University of Yangon in Myanmar (formerly Burma), where he encouraged Myanmar to continue the transition to democracy. Wait a second. Is this the same Myanmar that just a few weeks ago slaughtered thousands in Rohingya?
At a time when Palestinian civilians are being massacred by the Israeli military, President Obama and his Secretary of State were busy visiting Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia as part of America’s effort to exert greater influence in the Asia-Pacific region. As American-made weapons continued to destroy Gaza, President Obama added insult to injury when he boasted about the merits of American-style democracy, stating “It’s worked for us for over 200 years now, and I think it’s going to work for Thailand and it’s going to work for this entire region. And the alternative, I think, is a false hope that, over time, I think erodes and collapses under the weight of people whose aspirations are not being met.”
One thing that cannot be denied about President Obama is that he is a fantastic orator. But how could he utter such beautiful words in defense of democracy when he continues to bless Israel’s denial of the aspirations of Palestinians? How could he pay lip service to democracy when he insists on rejecting the will of the people in Gaza?
As President Obama continues to be missing in action, at a time when we need his strong and balanced leadership, America’s corporate media, which masquerades as a legitimate news outlet, is regrettably saturated with right-wing pro Israeli extremists who regurgitate the same false narrative: Israel is simply defending herself against Palestinian aggression. Are we to believe that Palestinian children, dug up from the rubble of homes destroyed by on-going Israeli air strikes, are aggressors? Are we to accept that eight members of the Dalou family, including four children aged between one and seven, killed when an Israeli missile struck their home, are “terrorists”? Are we to accept that this is a “war” and that the Israeli military is acting according to internationally accepted norms of “warfare”?
So in the absence of honest American journalism, and as a challenge to the arguments of the right-wing pro Israel sycophants, let us examine just two examples of the heinous record of the criminal, bloodthirsty and savage Israeli army as it continues to murder defenseless Palestinian civilians. According to indisputable evidence found by an Amnesty International fact-finding team, during the 2009 slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, the Israeli army used, inter alia, white phosphorus, a weapon with a highly incendiary effect, in densely populated civilian residential areas of Gaza City. When white phosphorus lands on skin it burns deeply through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen. And the Israeli military does not discriminate when it comes to civilian targets. The 2009 naked aggression against Palestinian civilians included dropping a white phosphorus shell in the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, causing a fire that forced hospital staff to evacuate the patients.
According to Global Research, a center for research on globalization, during Israel’s vicious assault on Lebanon in July 2006, the UN estimated that Israel used massive amounts of cluster bombs and rained down around four million bomblets – most US-supplied – onto south Lebanon when a ceasefire had already been agreed. De-miners clearing Israeli-dropped cluster bombs in south Lebanon turned up an average of 10 new sites per month. A single cluster bomb can disperse hundreds of bomblets.
More shocking was Israel’s refusal to provide data that would assist clearing the estimated one million unexploded bomblets, which continue to kill and maim civilians and decimate rural livelihoods. Dalya Farran, a spokeswoman for the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre for South Lebanon stated that all the weapons systems are computerized and grid references are entered before the bombs drop. Yet the shameless and arrogant Israeli military continues to deny the UN any information on the cluster bomb strike data arguing that the cluster munitions were fired at open and uninhabited areas in which no civilians were present. Sadly, around one million of the bomblets failed to explode on impact, leaving roads, schools, homes and fields littered with lethal explosives that detonate when touched, making them a danger similar to anti-personnel mines.
So as Israeli war planes continue their cowardly destruction of Gaza, the jury is still out on what sort of American tax-payer funded weaponry is being used on civilians. And as Palestinians continue to dig up bodies of women, men and children, President Obama maintains America’s modus operandi when it comes to policy on Israel: “do what you have to do and we got your back”. With powerful enablers such as America, the cowardly Israeli military has and will always enjoy complete impunity for its inhumane crimes.
This Thursday, millions of Americans unknowingly commemorate the Native American peoples’ genocide through massacres, forced relocations and years of warfare waged by the United States federal government. As part of a White House tradition, President Obama is scheduled to pardon one of two 19-week-old, Virginia-raised, 40-pound male turkeys, otherwise known as toms, or gobblers. If only the President was as committed to saving the lives of Palestinians as he is in saving fowl.
Hisham Elkoustaf is an attorney with over a decade of experience at the intersection of law, policy and international development. Hisham earned his B.A. in Political Science, Cum Laude, from Columbia University. He received an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of Morocco World News’ editorial team.
Posted on November 22, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source US Goverment
One Hundred Twelfth Congress of the United States of America AT THE SECOND SESSION Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the third day of January, two thousand and twelve An Act To enhance strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012’’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Since 1948, United States Presidents and both houses of Congress, on a bipartisan basis and supported by the American people, have repeatedly reaffirmed the special bond between the United States and Israel, based on shared values and shared interests.
(2) The Middle East is undergoing rapid change, bringing with it hope for an expansion of democracy but also great challenges to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly to our most important ally in the region, Israel.
(3) The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is continuing its decades-long pattern of seeking to foment instability
and promote extremism in the Middle East, particularly in this time of dramatic political transition.
(4) At the same time, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.
(5) A nuclear-weapons capable Iran would fundamentally threaten vital United States interests, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and pose a serious and destabilizing threat to Israel and the region.
(6) Over the past several years, with the assistance of the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas have increased their stockpile of rockets, with more than 60,000 now ready to be fired at Israel. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to add to its arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, which threaten Iran’s neighbors, Israel, and United States Armed Forces in the region.
(7) As a result, Israel is facing a fundamentally altered strategic environment.
(8) Pursuant to chapter 5 of title 1 of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108–11; 117 Stat. 576), the authority to make available loan guarantees to Israel is currently set to expire on September 30, 2012.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
It is the policy of the United States:
(1) To reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. As President Barack
Obama stated on December 16, 2011, ‘‘America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable.’’ And as President George W. Bush stated before the Israeli Knesset on May 15, 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, ‘‘The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty.’’.
(2) To help the Government of Israel preserve its qualitative military edge amid rapid and uncertain regional political transformation.
(3) To veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.
(4) To support Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.
(5) To pursue avenues to expand cooperation with the Government of Israel both in defense and across the spectrum of civilian sectors, including high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceuticals, and energy.
(6) To assist the Government of Israel with its ongoing efforts to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security, and to encourage Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
(7) To encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the United States and Israel given current trends and instability in the region.
SEC. 4. UNITED STATES ACTIONS TO ASSIST IN THE DEFENSE OF
ISRAEL AND PROTECT UNITED STATES INTERESTS.
It is the sense of Congress that the United States Government should take the following actions to assist in the defense of Israel:
(1) Seek to enhance the capabilities of the Governments of the United States and Israel to address emerging common threats, increase security cooperation, and expand joint military exercises.
(2) Provide the Government of Israel such support as may be necessary to increase development and production of joint missile defense systems, particularly such systems that defend against the urgent threat posed to Israel and United States forces in the region.
(3) Provide the Government of Israel assistance specifically for the production and procurement of the Iron Dome defense system for purposes of intercepting short-range missiles, rockets, and projectiles launched against Israel.
(4) Provide the Government of Israel defense articles and defense services through such mechanisms as appropriate, to
include air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions.
(5) Provide the Government of Israel additional excess defense articles, as appropriate, in the wake of the withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq.
(6) Examine ways to strengthen existing and ongoing efforts, including the Gaza Counter Arms Smuggling Initiative, aimed at preventing weapons smuggling into Gaza pursuant to the 2009 agreement following the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, as well as measures to protect against weapons smuggling and terrorist threats from the Sinai Peninsula.
(7) Offer the Air Force of Israel additional training and exercise opportunities in the United States to compensate for Israel’s limited air space.
(8) Work to encourage an expanded role for Israel with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including an enhanced presence at NATO headquarters and exercises.
(9) Expand already-close intelligence cooperation, including satellite intelligence, with Israel.
SEC. 5. ADDITIONAL STEPS TO DEFEND ISRAEL AND PROTECT AMERICAN
(a) EXTENSION OF WAR RESERVES STOCKPILE AUTHORITY.—
(1) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005.—
Section 12001(d) of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005 (Public Law 108–287; 118 Stat. 1011) is amended by striking ‘‘more than 8 years after’’ and inserting ‘‘more than 10 years after’’.
(2) FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1961.—Section 514(b)(2)(A) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321h(b)(2)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘fiscal years 2011 and 2012’’ and inserting ‘‘fiscal years 2013 and 2014’’.
(b) EXTENSION OF LOAN GUARANTEES TO ISRAEL.—Chapter 5
of title I of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108–11; 117 Stat. 576) is amended under the heading ‘‘LOAN GUARANTEES TO ISRAEL’’—
(1) in the matter preceding the first provision, by striking ‘‘September 30, 2011’’ and inserting ‘‘September 30, 2015’’; and (2) in the second proviso, by striking ‘‘September 30, 2011’’ and inserting ‘‘September 30, 2015’’.
SEC. 6. REPORTS REQUIRED.
(a) REPORT ON ISRAEL’S QUALITATIVE MILITARY EDGE (QME).—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the status of Israel’s qualitative military edge in light of current trends and instability in the region.
(2) SUBSTITUTION FOR QUADRENNIAL REPORT.—If submitted within one year of the date that the first quadrennial report required by section 201(c)(2) of the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–429; 22 U.S.C. 2776 note) is due to be submitted, the report required by paragraph (1) may substitute for such quadrennial report.
(b) REPORTS ON OTHER MATTERS.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on each of the following matters:
(1) Taking into account the Government of Israel’s urgent requirement for F–35 aircraft, actions to improve the process
relating to its purchase of F–35 aircraft, particularly with respect to cost efficiency and timely delivery.
(2) Efforts to expand cooperation between the United States and Israel in homeland security, counter-terrorism, maritime security, energy, cyber-security, and other related areas.
(3) Actions to integrate Israel into the defense of the Eastern Mediterranean.
SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees’’ means—
(A) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and (B) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and
the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.
(2) QUALITATIVE MILITARY EDGE.—The term ‘‘qualitative military edge’’ has the meaning given the term in section 36(h)(2) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776(h)(2)).
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
Direct link to the US government to find this Act in PDF file