The U.S. Senate on April 14 passed a resolution “calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report”, the popular name for the report of a U.N. fact-finding mission chaired by Richard Goldstone that was charged with investigating Israel’s full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, code-named “Operation Cast Lead”.
The report of the fact-finding mission concluded that there was evidence that both Israel and the Palestinian authority in Gaza, Hamas, committed war crimes during the course of the assault.
This week marks the second anniversary of among the most savage criminal slaughters of human life in long memory. The 522 hour indiscriminate carnage, “Cast Lead” that killed 1,417 Palestinians, mostly civilians, 352 of them children, injuring for life more than 5,300 , indicts Israel as well as those countries that continue to supply it weapons, diplomatic cover and to enforce Israel’s illegal siege on sealed Gaza.
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Global Research, December 25, 2010
Today, December 27, marks the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s brutal offensive against the Gaza Strip. In 22 days of relentless air and land attacks, more than 1400 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed in what the United Nations ‘Goldstone Report’ described as war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Two years later, the perpetrator – Israel – remains unpunished. Two years later, Gaza remains in ruins, largely due to the reluctance of the international community to stand up to the bully, and deliver the materials necessary for Gaza’s reconstruction.
Chomsky at the World Social Forum (Porto Alegre) in 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion—excluding Arab East Jerusalem—should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.
In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate to lure Israel into a new freeze and thus revive the talks, is grasping at invisible straws—and lavishing gifts on a far-right Israeli government.
Panel 1 – Changing the Public Discussion
Participants: Jerome Slater, Adam Horowitz
Moderator: Will Youmans
Addressing: How has blogging/new media affected the public debate on Israel/Palestine? How has blogging/new media responded to the Main Stream Media and vice versa? What results has this interaction had on the public discussion of Israel/Palestine?
I am an American without a drop of Arab blood within me and my org has been an endorsing org of the FREEDOM FLOTILLA, since I learned about it on the final day of the 27th annual American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Washington, D.C. Conference on 10 June 2007.
On the first day of that conference, I learned that among the invited speakers who did NOT show or send a representative were Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Republican National Committee. Continue reading →
May 17, 2010 — Israel has refused to permit Noam Chomsky, the linguist and icon of the American left, to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordan. Some argue that Chomsky, an 81-year-old professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, could pose a risk to Israel. Norman Finkelstein says that Israel has been exposed to the world during the Gaza conflict and now feels threatened.
April 24, 2010 — Popular London rap artist, Lowkey and journalist on wheels Jody McGwire provide some warmup to Norman Finkelstein’s talk to the Arab Students Club at Brooklyn College. Jody reports of his 9 months in Palestine and Lowkey recites poetry condemning western mindset against Arabs.
Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel, where he expressed the United States’ commitment to its security, was tarnished by the Israeli Interior Ministry’s announcement that it would build 1,600 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem (perhaps a not-so-subtle message to the White House, located 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?).
It was a slap in the face to Biden who was urging Palestinians to engage in peace negotiations with the Israelis. But the announcement is one of a list of “facts on the ground” created by Israel that cast shadows over its commitment to a viable two-state solution. Those in the White House today, and those who wish to be in it tomorrow, should take the time to reconsider their “special relationship” with Israel. Canada would benefit from doing the same. Last month, the Harper government preposterously suggested that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada.
How universal jurisdiction is used as a tool to bring to court Israeli leaders accused of war crimes
This week, the European Union’s Parliament passed a resolution endorsing the implementation of the recommendations of the Goldstone Report, which investigated war crimes in the attack on Gaza last year. While the motion was received with support from many NGOs, such as the Women’s Peace Coalition, it did not indicate specific actions the EU will actually take. The same has been true for the UN’s process as members of the Security Council said they would veto the report. Many are therefore taking it in their own hands to hold Israeli leaders accountable for alleged war crimes. The legal tool they’re using is called universal jurisdiction and refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that said countries must be able to prosecute anyone who commits grave crimes. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky investigates what universal jurisdiction is, how it is used, and how Israel is fighting against it.
Daniel Machover is a partner at the British legal firm Hickman & Rose Solicitors in London and is their Head of Civil Litigation. He was the Co-Founder of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights in 1988 and works with Israeli and Palestinian lawyers and NGOs on legal remedies for Palestinians. Working for mutual clients of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, he and his colleagues, particularly Kate Maynard, have been involved in the efforts to arrest suspected Israeli war criminals in the UK and beyond, notably General Doron Almog in September 2005, but also (working with legal teams in several countries) Moshe Ya’alon (New Zealand, December 2006), Ami Ayalon (Netherlands, May 2008) and Ehud Barak and others (Spain, June 2008 on-going).