Sep 052013
 

Seeded by a country that only months earlier broadcast Boston citizens chanting “USA” repeatedly while their homes are subject to martial law, the imminent desperate plunder of Syria has left a visible impression on Ambassador Jafari. As the United States demonstrates its complete lack of legitimacy except through force, the United Nations followed suit and showed Jafari that it is nothing more than a criminal enterprise.

May 072013
 
Richard FalkRedress Online
Lawrence Davidson
Shortly after the 15 April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, published an analysis of the episode entitled “A Commentary on the marathon murders.

Richard Falk tells the truth

In this analysis Falk pointed out that there are “serious deficiencies in how the US sees itself in the world. We should be worried by the taboo… imposed on any type of self-scrutiny [of US foreign policy] by either the political leadership or the mainstream media.” This taboo essentially blinds us to the reality of our situation. Falk continues: “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world…. Especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations with others… starting with the Middle East.”

It seems obvious that if Washington wants to prevent future attacks, it is not enough to pursue alleged terrorists and beef up “homeland security”. It seems logical that one needs to also perform a foreign policy review, preferably in a public manner, to determine if any American policies or behaviors are unnecessarily provoking animosity. For instance, will continued unqualified US support of Israeli oppression of Palestinians increase or decrease future violent anti-American episodes at home or abroad?

As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy. (Richard Falk)

 

Yet, this critical aspect of any response to terrorism has apparently never been performed. As regards the administration of George W. Bush, this comes as no surprise. Bush and his neoconservative supporters were (and still are) ideologically driven and so are incapable of the objectivity necessary for such a self-critical review. That is why Bush came up with a range of cockamamy reasons, including the famous “they hate our values”, for the 9/11 attacks. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, seemed, at least at first, capable of corrective insight.

Back in 2009 Obama went to Cairo and made a speech which suggested that a rethinking of American relations with the Muslim world and the Middle East in particular was in order. Yet the theory represented in the speech was never turned into practice. Why not? Continue reading »

Feb 022013
 

France 24

UN calls on Israel to remove over 500,000 settlers
© AFP

The United Nations’ first report on Israel’s settlements policy concluded Thursday that the government’s practice of “creeping annexation” clearly violates the human rights of Palestinians and called for the withdrawal of 500,000 settlers.

By News Wires (text)

U.N. human rights investigators called on Israel on Thursday to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all half a million Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank, saying that its practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes.

A three-member U.N. panel said private companies should stop working in the settlements if their work adversely affected the human rights of Palestinians, and urged member states to ensure companies respected human rights.

“Israel must cease settlement activities and provide adequate, prompt and effective remedy to the victims of violations of human rights,” Christine Chanet, a French judge who led the U.N. inquiry, told a news conference.

The settlements contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory and could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations report said.

“To transfer its own population into an occupied territory is prohibited because it is an obstacle to the exercise of the right to self-determination,” Chanet said.

In December, the Palestinians accused Israel in a letter to the United Nations of planning to commit what it said were further war crimes by expanding Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de facto U.N. recognition of statehood, and said Israel must be held accountable.

Israel has not cooperated with the probe set up by the Human Rights Council last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including East Jerusalem. Israel says the forum has an inherent bias against it and defends its settlement policy by citing historical and Biblical links to the West Bank.

Israel’s foreign ministry swiftly rejected the report as “counterproductive and unfortunate”. The Palestine Liberation Organisation welcomed its “principled and candid” findings.

“The only way to resolve all pending issues between Israel and the Palestinians, including the settlements issue, is through direct negotiations without pre-conditions. Counterproductive measures – such as the report before us, will only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” Israel’s Yigal Palmor said.

“The Human Rights Council has sadly distinguished itself by its systematically one-sided and biased approach towards Israel. This latest report is yet another unfortunate reminder of that.”

But Hanan Ashrawi, a top PLO official told Reuters: “This is incredible. We are extremely heartened by this principled and candid assessment of Israeli violations…This report clearly states the Israel is not just violating the 4th Geneva Convention, but places Israel in liability to the Rome Statute under the jurisdiction of the ICC.”

Continue reading »