Tag Archives: United Nations

UN Says “Anti-Zionism NOT Anti-Semitism”

Anti-Zionism Is Not Anti-Semitism, Stipulates UN Organization, EAFORD

THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (EAFORD)

Item 7. Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

To expose Israel’s human rights abuses and attacks on Gaza is not anti-Jewish; criticism based on mountains of reports of human rights violations are not directed at Jews anywhere, but at the policies of the State of Israel.

The international community can and should abhor the slaughter of Palestinian women and children without being labeled anti-Semitic.

Zionism is a political movement, not a religion; it is a colonialist, racist, ideology of conquest, oppression, subjugation and control.

Zionism is Israel’s official ideology and to oppose the discriminatory policies of this apartheid state is not racist. Israel is one thing, Judaism another: to confront one is not to be in opposition of the other, they are separate.

Jews can be anti-Zionists, and anti-Semites can be staunch Zionists. Some of the most adamant supporters of Zionist ideology are not Jews, but some fundamentalist Christians. This agenda item does not report on a religion but on a State’s discriminatory policies towards a people who are Semitic too!

Occupation is not about religion: It is a nation’s policy of aggression; its use of disproportionate force, and collective punishment.

When the atrocities committed on the people of Palestine are condemned, Zionists call it anti-Semitism, which is a concocted myth. It is simply a ploy to “dismiss all criticism, no matter how legitimate, as rooted in prejudice and therefore without any validity.” (Cohen)

Equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism poisons any resolution; let it not deter us from our pursuit, the real goal which must prevail: truth and justice.

Thank you Mr. President.

EAFORD

24 March 2009

listen to audio HERE

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Jewish Judge Heads UN Israeli War Crimes Investigations

Strategically there are two ways to look at this: 1. Either they are going to “go for it” and Israel will be charged. Having a Jewish Judge head the panel will blow holes in Israeli’s claims of “bias” 2. Perhaps nothing will come of this and the “judge” was placed to lead the panel because this investigation will go “nowhere”

take your pick, story below:

UN names Jewish judge to lead Israel-Gaza probe

Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to head high-level mission to investigate alleged crimes committed by IDF during Operation Cast Lead

The United Nations says a Jewish judge from South Africa will lead a high-level mission to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The global body says its former chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Richard Goldstone, will head the probe ordered by the Human Rights Council in January.

According to the mandate, the investigation will focus only on Palestinian victims of the three-week war between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.

Israel has refused cooperation with previous council probes, calling them biased.

“It is in the interest of all Palestinians and Israelis that the allegations of war crimes and serious human rights violations related to the recent conflict on all sides be investigated,” Goldstone said in a statement.

“I am confident that the mission will be in a position to assess in an independent and impartial manner all human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the (Gaza) conflict,” the president of the Human Rights Council, Nigerian ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said in a statement.

Goldstone will be accompanied by British human rights professor Christine Chinkin, Pakistani lawyer Hina Jilani and retired Irish Army colonel Desmond Travers.

Here is a bit more on members of this “4 person team” led by Goldstone, from the Institute for International Criminal Investigations website:

Richard J. Goldstone is a former member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He is the author of For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator (Castle Lectures in Ethics, Politics, and Economics) (Yale University Press, September 2000), with a foreword written by The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor.

Desmond Travers is a recently retired Colonel of the Army of the Irish Defence Forces. His last appointment was as Commandant of its Military College. In a career spanning over forty years, he served in various command and instructional appointments in the Infantry Corps. He was a founder of two of the Forces’ teaching and training institutions.
He also served in command of troops and in key operational appointments with various UN and EU peace support missions. These were in the Middle-East (Cyprus, Lebanon) and in the Former Yugoslavia (Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina).He is a student of military history and his works are published internationally from time to time.

Hina Jilani is a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan experienced in constitutional and human rights litigation. A founder of the first women’s law firm and legal aid centre in Pakistan, she is also a Founding Member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and has been a special representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders, a member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, and a member of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism, appointed by the International Commission of Jurists.
She serves as Chair of the International Council for Human Rights Policy, Geneva, has written extensively on human rights and democracy, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

And information on Christine Chinkin, taken from the London School of Economics and Political Science website:

Chinkin, Christine
Professor Christine Chinkin
Department Position held
Department of Law
Professor of International Law

Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Experience keywords: human rights law and institutions; international dispute resolution; dispute resolution; women’s human rights; international human rights; united nations law; public international law; feminist legal issues

I will remain skeptical until proven wrong.
UPDATED: Well this is a bit encouraging, from March 16th 2009 LINK HERE

UPDATED X2: This is very interesting indeed. It seems the Israelis are none too pleased with this new group that was created in January in response to the genocide in Gaza. Perhaps Goldstone will do the deed properly. Note what he has to say in the piece below:

The Israeli government has in the past refused to co-operate with UN human rights council investigations, including one led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

It is not clear whether Israel will co-operate with the new investigation.

“This committee is instructed not to seek out the truth but to single out Israel for alleged crimes,” said Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

He said the council was a discredited body.

‘Shock’ appointment

Mr Goldstone is a former UN chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He is also a former judge at the South African constitutional court.

He is also on the board of governors at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Mr Goldstone said he was “shocked, as a Jew”, to be invited to head the mission.

“I’ve taken a deep interest in what happens in Israel. I’m associated with organisations that have worked in Israel.

“And I believe I can approach the daunting task that I have accepted in an even-handed and impartial manner.” SOURCE

UPDATED X3 Well maybe not LOL, look at how the the JTA is reporting this:

(JTA) — A Jewish South African with close ties to Israel will head a U.N. inquiry into war crimes during Israel’s recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

He said his Jewishness and ties to Israel were added values. “I’ve taken a deep interest in what happens in Israel,” he said. “I’m associated with organizations that have worked in Israel. And I believe I can approach the daunting task that I have accepted in an evenhanded and impartial manner.”

Again, time will tell us all………….

USA to Help Israel Deflect Human Rights Abuse Accusations

The US will run for a seat in the UN Human Rights Council in order to “change” it. Translation=No more critisizing of Israel will be allowed.

Well, this really makes me sick. here comes the USA to defend Israel once again. So much for “hope and change” And notice how it comes after the Gaza genocide? I wonder if this move is so that when the human rights abuses being to come hard and fast at Israel, the US will deflect them for Israel. What a disgrace this move is and totally transparent.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Barack Obama’s administration announced Tuesday it will run in May for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council — a body the Bush administration had shunned.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said the United States wanted a seat to help reform the body from within, according to the State Department.

“We’re very committed to bring about the serious reform that the council needs,” she said.

“The principal problem is there has been too little focus on the most egregious abuses of human rights … and too much focus, unbalanced focus we believe, on other issues that don’t merit the amount of time,” she added.

“Yes, of course, we mean Israel.”

The next round of elections to the Council will be held on May 15 in the UN General Assembly in New York when members will be elected to a three-year term.

Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the United States could no longer afford to be on the sidelines after the body had “become increasingly dysfunctional and politicized.

But the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading anti-Semitism watchdog, expressed concern over the decision.

“ADL had urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to seek reform of the Council before deciding to join it,” it said in a statement.

Rape Legal in Afghanistan~Hamid Karzai

Hamid Karzai signs law ‘legalising rape in marriage’

President Hamid Karzai has signed a law the UN says legalises rape in marriage and prevents women from leaving the house without permission.

The law, which has not been publicly released, is believed to state women can only seek work, education or doctor’s appointments with their husband’s permission.

Only fathers and grandfathers are granted custody of children under the law, according to the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

Opponents of the legislation governing the personal lives of Afghanistan’s Shia minority have said it is “worse than during the Taliban”.

The bill passed both houses of the Afghan parliament, but was so contentious that the United Nations and women’s rights campaigners have so far been unable to see a copy of the approved bill.

Shinkai Zahine Karokhail, a female MP, said the law had been rushed through with little debate.

She told the Guardian newspaper: “They wanted to pass it almost like a secret negotiation, “There were lots of things that we wanted to change, but they didn’t want to discuss it because Karzai wants to please the Shia before the election.”

The Afghan justice ministry confirmed the law had been signed, but said it would not be published until technical difficulties had been overcome.

A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai would not comment.

NEW REPORT~Israeli White Phosphorus WAR CRIMES

Reports of Israeli war crimes are coming out fast and furious now. Today, a new 71 page report just issued on Israeli war crimes regarding the use of White Phosphorus in Gaza.. The sheer number of cases and the sheer volume of evidence is staggering. I cannot see how Israel can squirm their way out of this one. Even using all their hasbara techniques, their online troll groups and their Jewish Lobby, it won’t work this time. Thanks to the internet the world has now seen for themselves, and no matter how hard Israel tries to re-paint the picture, we all remember what we saw, and those images will never leave us! We want and expect justice for all those innocent people murdered and burned alive.

Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza

Israel’s military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In a 71-page report, the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed “a pattern or policy of conduct”.

It said the Israeli military used white phosphorus in a “deliberate or reckless” way. The report says:

• Israel was aware of the dangers of white phosphorus.

• It chose not to use alternative and less dangerous smoke shells.

• In one case, Israel even ignored repeated warnings from UN staff before hitting
the main UN compound in Gaza with white phosphorus shells on 15 January.

“In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said Fred Abrahams, a senior Human Rights Watch researcher. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren’t in the area and safe smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.” He said senior commanders should be held to account.

The Israeli military has defended its conduct in Gaza in the face of mounting allegations of serious violations of international law and said its soldiers did not intentionally target civilians. When Israel’s use of white phosphorus emerged during the war, the military at first denied using the weapon, then said it only used weapons in accordance with international law.

White phosphorus burns in contact with oxygen and causes deep burns when it touches human skin, sometimes reaching to the bone. The weapon is not illegal itself and can be used to provide a smokescreen on the battlefield or as an incendiary weapon against a military target. However, its use is regulated even by customary international law. It must be used in a way that distinguishes between combatants and civilians and cannot be used to target civilians.

Most of the Israeli military’s white phosphorus in Gaza was fired in 155mm artillery shells, each containing 116 wedges soaked with the chemical.

In January, the Guardian found one such shell still smoking several days after it was fired, outside the home of the Abu Halima family in Atatra. One white phosphorous shell hit the house directly, killing a father and four of his children. His wife was severely burnt.

Human Rights Watch also reported the same case.
Human Rights Watch found 24 spent white phosphorus shells in Gaza, all from the same batch made in a US ammunition factory in 1989 by Thiokol Aerospace. Other shells were photographed during the war with markings showing they were made in the Pine Bluff Arsenal, also in America, in 1991.

The group said it found no evidence that Hamas fighters used Palestinian civilians as human shields – a key Israeli claim – in the area at the time of the attacks it researched.

The rights group studied six cases in detail in which 12 civilians were killed and dozens more were injured.

In one case, witnesses described how a white phosphorus shell hit a car in Tel al-Hawa, in south-eastern Gaza City, killing a bank manager, his wife and two of their children on 15 January.

On the same day, at about 7.30am, Israeli artillery shells began falling near the main compound of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza City, where 700 civilians were sheltering. UN staff made repeated telephone calls to the Israeli military asking them to stop but, at about 10am, six shells hit the compound, three of which contained white phosphorus.The warehouse was hit, causing at least $10m of damage, and it continued to burn for 12 days.

In another case, on 17 January, an artillery shell that had already discharged its white phosphorus hit a UN school in Beit Lahiya, where 1,600 civilians were sheltering. It killed two brothers in a classroom and severely injured their mother and cousin.

MUST READ~ISRAEL RUNNING SCARED FROM WAR CRIME CHARGES

UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION, COMING TO GET YOU ISRAEL

UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION COMING FOR ISRAEL

UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION COMING FOR ISRAEL

Whoa, huge article coming out in the Jerusalem Post on March 30th. Israel is running scared from charges of war crimes, the worldwide public opinion has really now gone totally against them, and they are now very worried indeed! The article is VERY long; it’s an interview with an IDF commander and is quite telling. Additionally, several experts explain this new concept of universal jurisdiction which many countries are now using in order to bring charges against Israel for war crimes. Israel has always had an “out” so to speak, as it never became a party to the 1998 Rome Convention that created the International Criminal Court. The only way around this would be for the UN Security Council to bring the charges; however, the USA,Israel’s “BFF” would veto this for Israel. So this is a “no go” Hence the new Universal Jurisdiction scenario, which, seems to be doing quite well so far. With convictions in the UK and possibly Spain now for war crimes against Israel. Soon Israel will no longer be able to run from the legal system. Oh, they can hide away in Israel for life, never being able to leave or set foot in any country where arrest warrants are held against them. Israel will become the pariah that it is, a large jail cell in the Middle East where criminals must hide out in order to remain out of jail. Yes, Israel will become one giant jail cell. Perhaps they could market this as a tourist attraction, come to Israel see the War Criminals in their cages.

Excerpt from Jerusalem Post below:

“I’m not a war criminal! I’m not a Nazi!”

ISRAELI WAR CRIMINALS

ISRAELI WAR CRIMINALS

“I’m not a war criminal! I’m not a Nazi!” Seated in a Jerusalem café, Yotam’s tense voice and tight movements contrast sharply with the suave, cool surroundings. He looks around and over his shoulder frequently, admitting that he’s afraid that someone might overhear him or recognize him. Throughout the interview, he takes long sips of water from a tall, iced glass in an effort to maintain his composure.
He insists that he not be identified in any way. Yotam is not his real name. During Operation Cast Lead, Yotam, served as a battalion commander of a combat unit. He had intended to leave for England in the late spring for post-doctoral studies at a well-regarded British university. But now he’s scared. During the war, his face was shown on European TV and he says that he has heard “from people I know on the far left in Israel who are cooperating with left-wing, anti-Zionist activists in England” that he could wind up being the target of an investigation against him on suspicion that he committed war crimes in Gaza.

“What do they want from me?” Yotam demands, his voice filled with rage and fear. “I did the best I could – I wanted to save my men. I didn’t want to kill innocent people. Sure, we had maps, and guided missiles and all sorts of high-tech equipment. But civilians got killed. Civilians get killed in wars. Does that make me a war criminal? Am I Eichmann? Am I a mass murderer like Milosevic? Like Idi Amin?”

According to Israeli legal experts, hundreds of Israeli officers and other officials may have good reason to be fearful that they could, indeed, be investigated, arrested and charged with alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity for their conduct in Operation Cast Lead in December-January.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak publicly promised that the state would back all officers and soldiers who might be accused abroad of war crimes. And the government has established an inter-ministerial committee that is, says an official, “working very much under the radar” to try to “ward off these legal proceedings through diplomatic means.”

Translation, he’s trying to make dirty deals with the governments of those countries who are bringing charges against Israel.

“When the warfare is over, lawfare begins,”

Lawfare draws upon the concept of universal jurisdiction, which refers to the powers of a state to try and punish any individual for war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide even if those crimes were not committed against the country or its citizens or its soil. The idea behind this, is that some atrocities are so horrendous that their perpetrators should not be allowed to find any safe haven, anywhere in the world.

Europeans are simply sick of seeing civilians suffer in wars and tired of seeing people killed. And they certainly don’t accept Israel’s explanation that it is fighting against terror.”

In 2004, a warrant was issued in Great Britain against Major General Doron Almog, who was accused of war crimes in Gaza between 2001 and 2003, when he headed Southern Command. When visiting England in 2005 to speak at a fund-raising event, Almog narrowly evaded arrest when he was tipped off that the warrant against him had been issued and so refused to disembark from his plane. The warrant is still pending.

these activities are part of the “Durban strategy,” first implemented at the World Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa in September 2001. “The ‘Durban Strategy’ equates Israel with apartheid South Africa, viewing Israel as a pariah state so Israelis, like other ‘war criminals’ and pariahs, will not be able to travel throughout the world or be part of global society,”

Spanish judge, Fernando Andre, instituted a judicial inquiry against several Israeli political and military figures on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in relation to the 2002 assassination of Hamas leader, Salah Shehade, with a one-ton bomb that killed 14 people in addition to Shehade. Although not directly connected to Operation Cast Lead, Israeli officials acknowledge that the timing of the Spanish decision is clearly related to the current anti-Israel atmosphere prevailing in Europe.

French pro-Palestinian organizations filed a lawsuit against the Israeli president and foreign and defense ministers. Turkish prosecutors, in response to a petition filed by a member of a pro-Palestinian NGO, announced that they were investigating whether Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. In mid-February, members of the Jordanian parliament turned to the ICC, accusing Israel of war crimes

“the State of Israel is working diligently to prevent such cases in Spain and in other countries, through both legal and diplomatic means.”

“It just isn’t fair,” Yotam says impotently, close to tears. “Do these people know what it was like? Hamas was hiding out in residential areas. If they’re shooting at you from a house, how are you supposed to know how many civilians are inside? As a commander, I tried very hard not only to do the legal thing, but to do the moral thing, too. Hamas didn’t care – they violated every human and legal principle I can think of. It just isn’t fair.

Ok, I just have to say this, notice how brave the IDF are when they are in the armored tanks shooting at civilians, or a handful of men with mere rifles against their tanks. Or when flying over with their F-16’s dropping White Phosphorous, DIME missiles and other atrocities onto the most heavily populated place on this planet , where innocent civilians have NO where to go! Now, just look at these “brave” IDF soldiers, crying “It’s not fair” and my favorite “I’m Scared” well, I say too bad, what do you think those Palestinian people felt like all huddled into a corner, with no place to hide from your genocide? Do you think they were scared? And to think this IDF soldier was about to come to England to study! Good I hope is now has to remain in Israel for the rest of his natural life. That’s his sentence, face the charges and risk being convicted, or hide out in Israel for the rest of your life. Either way YOU LOOSE! You are a criminal now and will never be able to show your face anywhere else in the free world. Enjoy your new found status along with Hitler and Eichmann.Below is more of his drivel and whining and he also admits to using White Phosphorous as well, evil troll:

I don’t sleep at night. I think about the Palestinians that we might have killed. Does the Hamas guy who booby-trapped their houses and planted explosives under them – does he sleep at night? I bet he does. And those Brits and Spaniards who think they are so morally high and mighty – do they sleep at night? I bet they do.

Always have to blame HAMAS for everything, including the 1400 people, and 400 children the Israeli’s murdered with DIME missiles and White Phosphorous, Oh and this brave Soldier admits below using White Phosphorous on Palestinians. See here:

He acknowledges that his unit did use white phosphorus during the war. “But that’s not illegal. At least it isn’t illegal in some situations. We used it only for illumination, I swear. But when you’re the commander out there in the field, does anyone think that you can really consider all the legal and moral implications?” he challenges.

There are clear differences, for example, between destruction of natural resources, wanton destruction of property, wanton killing, deliberate starvation of a civilian population. But as long as Israel equates war crimes only with the Nazis, it will not be able to prosecute properly. These must be investigated by impartial, independent and professional committees, and anyone suspected of such crimes should be brought to trial.”

By not investigating and prosecuting,Israel is leaving itself open to universal jurisdiction abroad. Machover, for example, readily says that he is pursuing additional cases in Britain, but refuses to provide any details.

I suggest reading the entire 5 page article for a better understanding of “International Jurisdiction” and how it can help to bring some justice for the thousands who have suffered from Israel’s long history of war crimes.