Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ban Ki-Moon

 

Donors pledge $5.4bn for Gaza reconstruction?

Donation Stretching for an entire decade?

Reconstruction to last 7 years , just to look what is was a few months ago?

Global donors have pledged a sum of $5.4bn in aid to reconstruct the Gaza Strip amid warnings that the Palestinian territory remains a “tinderbox” following the summer war between Hamas and Israel.

The pledged amount surpasses the $4bn which Palestinians had asked for during the conference to reconstruct the enclave, after the 50-day Israeli military campaign Operation Protective Edge in July and August.

A savage and racist preemptive war that left 2,200 killed and 11,000 injured and total devastation  of hospitals, schools , power plants….

“The participants pledged approximately $5.4bn,” Boerge Brende, Norwegian foreign minister, said during the closing statement at the Cairo conference which Norway co-hosted.


Khalid al-Attiyah, the Qatari foreign minister, who is in the Egyptian capital for the conference, announced his country was pledging $1bn in aid.

The US promised $212m to meet what John Kerry, secretary of state, described as an “enormous” challenge in Gaza.

Kerry also urged renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, telling the conference that both sides needed to be helped to make “tough choices” for lasting stability.

Gaza remains a tinderbox, the people desperately need to see results in their daily lives.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general

The people of Gaza do need our help, desperately, not tomorrow, not next week, they need it now,” Kerry told the gathering of about 30 global envoys and UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

European Union member states will contribute a total of $570m to Gaza, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said. Germany pledged $63m and Norway about $13m.

There is widespread concern that – after 3 destructive conflicts in the past six years – any help to Gaza will eventually be lost in the enclave’s cycle of violence.

Ban expressed the fears of many when he told the conference the situation in Gaza remained potentially explosive.

“Gaza remains a tinderbox, the people desperately need to see results in their daily lives,” Ban said.

The Palestinian government unveiled a 76-page reconstruction plan before the conference, with the lion’s share of assistance to build housing.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said Gaza’s need was desperate.

“Gaza has suffered three wars in six years. Entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed,” he said.

Peace efforts

Kerry’s pursuit of a long-elusive peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April after a difficult nine-month process.

There was little prospect of fresh talks any time soon.

Israel and the Hamas movement that dominates Gaza have yet to even translate their temporary August truce into a long-term ceasefire.

This summer’s conflict killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, while attacks by Gaza fighters killed 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

Note 1: Naomi Wolf commented on FB

Donations for Gaza…and…in a real shift — 212 million from the US as Kerry says now is the time to help rebuild Gaza.

This may seem like poisoned words or too little too late.

(Well, post-apocalypse) but really it represents a BIG crack politically in the ironclad AIPAC stranglehold of US state dept. policy

It means that debate among US Jews is diverse on Gaza and that means Congress has more room to do the right thing.

Note 2: The British Parliament voted Yes for a Palestinian State by a vast margin (274 to 12)

Note 3: Sweden recognized the Palestinian State.

And for that we can thank…all of you and everyone who spoke out.

It will not bring back lost loved ones or rebuild lost homes (except some literally) but it is a significant shift in the political wind. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/donors-pledge-cash-gaza-reconstruction-2014101212584558621.html

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He tampered with documents and lied to world community: UN Ban Ki Moon

Wikileaks: Ban Ki-Moon Worked with Israel to Undermine UN Report

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon (Photo: Reuters).

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon (Photo: Reuters).

Published 9 August 2014
The General Secretary of United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-Moon collaborated in secret with Israel and the United States to weaken the effects of a Board of Inquiry’s report accusing Israel of human rights violations in Gaza in Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009.

Wikileaks released documents on Friday that revealed that Ban wrote a letter to the UN Security Council asking its members not to take recommendations by the UN Board of Inquiry about Israeli bombings in Gaza into account.

The report demonstrated that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had a direct role in 7 of the 9 attacks against buildings of the UN in Gaza strip, and accused Israel of having breached the inviolability and immunity of UN premises.

According to Wikileaks, Susan Rice, White House National Security Advisor, spoke at least 4 times with Ban Ki Moon “to discuss concerns over the Board of Inquiry’s report on incidents at UN sites in December 2008 and January 2009″.

The report’s recommendations included the need for a deeper and impartial investigation into the recent “incidents”, and into the bombings of UN facilities.

According to Wikileaks, Rice first asked Ban not to include the recommendations in the final report’s summary, supposed to be transmitted to the UN Security Council on May 5.

Ban responded that “he was constrained in what he could do since the Board of Inquiry is independent; it was their report and recommendations and he could not alter them”.

In the second conversation, “Rice urged the Secretary-General to make clear in his cover letter when he transmits the summary to the Security Council that those recommendations exceeded the scope of the terms of reference and no further action is needed.”

Ban then replied that “his staff was working with an Israeli delegation on the text of the cover letter”.

Ban Ki-Moon confirmed in the last phone call that “a satisfactory cover letter” had been completed.

Note: The same Ban Ki-Moon lied to the general public suggesting that it is possible that rockets were stored in UN compound. Most of the 3 dozen UN schools and facilities hosting refugees and children have been targeted by Israel.  Israel had to admit in number of cases that it was pure bad luck and refused to even apologize for the genocide committed on the Palestinian of gaza.

 

Why aren’t Israeli F-16s over Beirut headline news?

Frequently, you hear sounds coming from the skies over Beirut.  Israeli fighter jets breaking the sound speed trigger unpleasant recollections during the countless Israel preemptive wars on Lebanon

Damned it. Hello, UN general secretary Ban Ki Moon. Beirut is the Capital of a recognized independent State in the UN.

This noise brings with it images and memories from the last war Israel waged on Lebanon, the 33-day war during the summer of 2006. The ominous rumbling of Israeli fighter jets, announcing their illegal incursions into Lebanese airspace, can be heard everywhere in tiny Lebanon.

Moe Ali Nayel, a freelance journalist based in Beirut, posted on  The Electronic Intifada from Beirut  on 24 May 2013

This threatening behavior above Lebanon is non-existent, the Western media corporations would have us believe.

While information-sharing web tools have broken the mainstream media’s monopoly over covering and analyzing world developments, there is still a long way to go. The Israeli politics of dispossession enjoy near unconditional support in the editorial rooms of New York, London and Paris, a bias still undetected by most of the Western audience they claim to serve.

UN soldier atop armored vehicle overlooks Lebanon-Israel border

Israel’s daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty are ignored in the Western press. (Karamallah Daher / Reuters)

On 25 April, these editors saw to it that one story dominated the front pages: Reports of an alleged unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, that flew from Lebanon to historic Palestine, with accompanying reportage and commentary treating information given by Israeli government and military sources as the definitive truth of the incident.

The Israeli Air Force said it shot down a UAV several miles off the coast of the northern city of Haifa after it entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon.

Israel’s deputy defense minister Danny Danon accused Hizballah of sending the drone: “We’re talking about another attempt by Hezbollah to send an unmanned drone into Israeli territory,” he told army radio (“Israel shoots down Lebanese drone,” DefenseNews, 25 April 2013).

Shortly after the Israeli announcement, Hezballah issued a statement denying this was the case (“Hezbollah denies responsibility for drone shot down by Israel,” Al-Akhbar English, 26 April 2013).

This is in contrast to October last year, when Israel said it had shot down a drone over the Negev (Naqab). In that case, Hezballah proudly claimed the drone as its own and celebrated this demonstration of its technological prowess (“Hezbollah admits launching drone over Israel,” BBC).

For its part, a spokesperson with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced after the Israeli statement on 25 April: “We learned from the media that the Israeli Air Force has shot down a drone and we’re investigating these reports.”

As part of its peacekeeping mandate, UNIFIL has radars along the coast to monitor Lebanon’s entire airspace, and a few hours later UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said the UN force could not confirm that a drone had flown from its area of operations in southern Lebanon (“Israel shoots down drone off Haifa, Hizbullah denies responsibility,” Naharnet, 25 April 2013).

Inconvenient facts

So Hezbollah denied responsibility and the UNIFIL couldn’t confirm that a drone flew over south Lebanon into Israeli-controlled airspace. But far be it for these inconvenient facts to get in the way of a good story.

This newest threat to Israel burned like wildfire across the pages of major Western media outlets like The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, France 24, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC, which dutifully reported the worries over Israel’s security being breached.

Poor Israel: one of the strongest armies in the world, sitting on a nuclear arsenal.

These news reports demonstrate the systematic bias of Western corporate media when it comes to Israel.

While the reports all spoke of Hezbollah’s violation of Israel’s “borders” and sovereignty and the threat this posed to Israeli civilians, none mentioned the daily Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and the threat this poses to Lebanese citizens. Without this, a reader might easily mistake the aggressor for the victim.

Then there was the one-sided sourcing of “facts” to back up the story and the rush to judgment.

On 26 April — the day after the alleged drone was downed — the Israeli government itself began to shift its narrative to more ambiguous finger-pointing at Iran, rather than directly blaming Hezbollah (“Israel points finger at Iran over drone from Lebanon,” The Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2013).

Meanwhile, a May 8 story in Lebanon’s daily As-Safir newspaper claims it was actually an Israeli drone that had been intercepted by resistance fighters en route to Lebanon.

According to unnamed sources close to Hizballah and Western diplomatic circles cited by the paper, when the Israeli Air Force noticed that its UAV was out of its control, it shot it down over the Mediterranean. This suggestion seems at least plausible when stacked next to the UNIFIL report and Hizballah’s denial.

But taking this into account or following up on it would have required understanding Arabic, which few foreign journalists do.

Daily terror

Israel inflicts different daily methods of terror on Lebanon: F-16s and F-15s stage mock raids and drones stalk our skies — all in violation of UN resolution 1701. Lebanese citizens are kidnapped near the border, Israeli landmines and cluster bombs continue to await their victims on Lebanese soil, not to mention the Israeli army’s continued occupation of parts of Lebanon.

While the UN occasionally condemns these acts of Israeli aggression, the fact that they continue unabated reminds us in Lebanon that accountability and international law end at our southern border.

And so too does objective journalism, it seems, given that in the past month Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace have heavily intensified, but none of this has made it into the Western press.

As a journalist, I’ve tried to pitch stories to mainstream media outlets on the constant Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and have been lucky enough, from time to time, for an editor to bother to reply, if only to say that the story is irrelevant.

The adage goes that real journalism is publishing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.

By publishing Israel’s claims as fact, and ignoring the reality on the ground in Lebanon and Palestine, mainstream journalists show how well practiced they are in the art of PR.

Follow Moe Ali Nayel on Twitter: @MoeAliN.

Note: The Austrian government is pulling out its UN contingent from the Golan Heights: Israel is not supposed to be overflying the Syrian territory, but violating Lebanon airspace is agreed upon with the UN?

Mania of “Rebranding Africa” disaster: Vogue of Italy

Every now and then, someone is trying to rebrand Africa, and it isn’t going so well. Vogue Italia’s latest issue — boosted by great billowing gusts of editorial hot air from both the New York Times and the Guardian — is called “Rebranding Africa.
 
  posted on June 6, under “Vogue Italia’s Rebranding Africa disaster”

“First.   Suppose you’re re-branding the continent of Africa:  who do you pick as your cover star?  What self-inflating fashion magazine wouldn’t lead their Africa edition with a picture of a South Korean diplomat sitting behind a desk in Manhattan?

The new face of Africa is none other than UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. There are so many ways to read this choice. An obvious take is that Vogue Italia, despite their claims of “rebranding” Africa must have decided Africans can’t govern themselves and need UN intervention.

The interview with Ban is very curious reading indeed. Apparently, the man is just world-class at regurgitating very precise development statistics. It reads like an annual report of a large multinational NGO.

Either that, or what we’re reading is a mashed up press release or a stilted email exchange dressed up as a conversation that actually took place (the latter is most likely the case).

Ban Ki-Moon drones endlessly on about the Millennium Development Goals, which is exactly what you’d expect him to do, but is also precisely the opposite of the kind of thing which invites the readers of Vogue Italia to think of Africa in a new way.

With Ban Ki-Moon as its new face, Africa is (a) boring and uncool, and (b) a stubborn problem to be managed by foreign technocrats. No change there.

So why is he on the cover? We have absolutely no idea. The man dresses like any other boring technocrat. The Guardian said the Vogue Italia coverage showed that the effort to rebrand the continent “wasn’t just a token effort” and that it made us (in the West, naturally) sit up and take notice. How?

To us, all that this shows is that the addled people at Vogue Italia are incredibly unimaginative, and quite weird when it comes to its coverage of the unfamiliar — that is, the dark continent/country of Africa.

One guy they could have picked instead for the cover is Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose moribund interview with chief editor Franca Sozzani really ought to be somehow preserved in formaldehyde and wheeled out at journalism school graduations as a chilling example of just how bad journalism can get. Much of the copy is taken up with Sozzani’s worrying whether they can photograph Goodluck the Vogue way.

The “interview” is really long passages of Sozzani generously offering her explanation to Jonathan of exactly what is wrong with Nigeria:

All the richest Nigerians spend their money abroad because there a no shops here, no hotels with a chic African flair, no hip restaurants or clubs.

Why not build an African Rodeo Drive in Lagos or Abuja, with boutiques carrying both imported and Nigerian goods?

Finally, there’s a single lonely quote from Jonathan in there, in which he agrees with the long speech Sozzani has made. It’s not often we feel sorry for Goodluck Jonathan, but seriously, poor chap.

It’s also not sure when they did the interview. There’s no word of Occupy Nigeria, which showed Jonathan up to be insensitive and dithering.

You also get the sense that the next time Vogue Italia “do” Africa, Nigeria’s notoriously corrupt and terrifyingly incompetent oil minister will probably be the new cover star, as Sozzani drools mindlessly over one of Nigeria’s most detested politicians:

We are joined by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, a gorgeous and elegant woman – who also happens to be a princess – dressed in traditional robes, with a Master’s from Cambridge and the distinction of being the first woman to run Nigeria’s most important ministry.

Actually they did already. In the same issue.

Sozzani’s representation of Nigeria’s complex social and political situation is as astute as you’d expect it to be, and thanks to the internet, she gets called out big-style by a Nigerian called “Rachel”, whose comment on the website is by far the best piece of writing in the entire magazine, print or online:

This is possibly this worst piece of journalism on Nigeria I have EVER read. I cannot tell you how angry people are reading this. It is a shallow piece of vanity which glosses over the complexities of the tensions in Nigeria.

When you say ‘Muslim’s ultimatum to the Christians’ – do you mean that all the Muslims who make up half of the 158 million people living in Nigeria have a vendetta against Christians? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????

It was Boko Haram’s ultimatum – you can’t just say ‘Muslims’ throwing in millions of people into a sentence who have felt just as much violence and suffering as Christians in Nigeria. It isn’t just Christians who have died during the violence but many Muslims.

Sweeping statements like this fuel tensions between Christians and Muslims but of course that is perfect for the American audience who probably believe every Muslim is part of Al Q’aeda.

Your dramatic entrance to Nigeria was completely unnecessary. There are thousands of expats who have lived here for years in complete safety. It is reports like this that do nothing for the country. Do not flatter yourself to believe that you would be of ANY value to a terrorist.

You would probably annoy the hell out of them. WHY did the editors think it would be important for readers to hear what you think what should be done in Nigeria?

You were talking to the President of the country who is dealing with increasing rates of poverty and a decline in security and you are telling him to build an African Rodeo Drive? Oh yes, please build it so the 5% of the super wealthy population that can actually afford to buy from these sort of shops will no longer travel.

The rest of the population can look on with their begging bowls in envy.

And the Petroleum Minister is probably one of the most corrupt people in Nigeria who has only added to the poverty, and therefore the security problems in the country.

Don’t you know ANYTHING about the fuel subsidy scandal here? Do you know how many people are calling for her resignation? I feel so disappointed. I dread to think what the issue is like.

I agree with you on one thing, it is important that people see beyond the famine and death in Africa and see the potential it has to grow but the potential has to be found in communities who are doing what they can to get out of poverty whether it be telecommunications to do banking, solar energy to power their small businesses or community initiatives to support women. What use is a Banana fricking Republic?”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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