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Posts Tagged ‘Gaza genocide

No Independent Palestinian State? Think again!

Posted on January 16, 2009

Note: Israel pounded yesterday the south-west corner of Gaza City and had demolished the UN agency headquarter and the Red Cross hospital.

500 injured Palestinian babies were trapped in these locations.  

The death toll has climbed to 1,100 and the injured to 5,200.

The world community is finally realizing that apartheid Israel has gone way too crazy against the UN charters. Keeping silent on the facts that this is a war crime being perpetrated in Gaza is no longer tolerable.

The US, Europe, the hateful Mubarak of Egypt and the Wahhabi Saudi Monarchy do not want a sustainable Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza: they want a recognized Palestinian State by name only, devoid of the conditions attached to an independent and self-autonomous status.  

They want what their puppet of “Palestinian” Abbas is willing to bow to, under the excuses that resisting the Zionist occupation should not involve arms struggle, no matter the humiliation and miserable conditions that the Palestinian people are subjected to.

Currently, Islamist Hamas represents the dignity and pride of the Palestinian to stand tall and reclaiming their rights as deserving people under the sun, with full recognition and the application of the UN charters on the apartheid Zionist State.  

The religious ideology of Hamas is a byproduct for denying the Palestinian people their due rights and recognition, as the liberal approaches of negotiation and democratic results are canceled, trampled, and made a mockery by the US Administrations and the EU.

I have published in November 12, 2008 “The State of Palesrael: a future plausible resolution” and I feel compelled to re-iterate my position after the Gaza fiasco and the genocide that has been watched live for over 20 days.

There are reams and reams of plans and counter plans and resolution suggested to contain this everlasting unjust and uncalled for reality of the 20th century monstrosity that permitted the establishment of the State of Israel, by forceful displacing its original inhabitants (the Palestinians), as one of the worst monstrosities in this century. (Such as Armenians in Turkey, Central Europe, Latin America, Africa, Myanmar, Somalia, Syria, Iraq)…

There are two viable solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, short of exterminating one party or the other or most probably both, that has been spreading death, disabilities, miseries, indignities and humiliation since 1920.

Before the Gaza onslaught, Israeli Olmert PM had declared that “the time to facing truth has come”.  

Since the Madrid convention in 1990 among the “Arab” States and Israeli delegations, (mediated by the Bush Father US Administration), for a resolution of this conflict, it was becoming evident that the “Biblical” strategy of Israel, for further expansion and pre-emptive wars, is no longer tenable.  

A resolution was contemplated but the US had an old battle plan to prosecute: invading Iraq, at the insistence of Israel/extremist Evangelical sect. The US allowed Israel to scrap the comprehensive agreement of “land for peace”

The Bush Junior administration dusted off this war plan and invaded Iraq.

This invasion has failed miserably but Israel realized that it is no longer a necessary State for the strategic interest of the US in the Middle East:  The US has military bases in the Arab Gulf, it has many heavy weight allies among the Arabic States, and the price of oil on the market is far cheaper than physically securing its exploitation and distribution in Iraq or elsewhere

Or even resuming plans to intimidating China and blackmailing her by outdated military presence in Iraq.  

The return of the heavy investments of the US in Israel has been reflecting sharp negative rates for decades, politically, economically, and socially within the US society and foreign policies.

My plan is of two phases:

The first phase is recognizing the State of Palestine by the United Nation, a State self-autonomous, independent and all.  It is of primordial interest by the world community and the Jewish State that the Palestinian people recover their dignity and rights as a full fledged State and be permitted to exercise the complex task of administering and governing a State.  

At least from a psychological necessity, the Palestinian people should feel that persistent resistance and countless “martyrs” for re-establishing their rights as legitimate and independent people have brought fruits, as any genuine national resistance ultimately should. The burden of proof for peaceful co-existence is on the occupier force, the apartheid Zionist State.

The second phase is the merging of the two States of Palestine and Israel into a confederate State with a central government and several self-autonomous “cantons”.  I can envisage the following cantons: West Bank, Gaza (including Escalon), Galilee (including Haifa and Akka), Judea (around Jerusalem and Bethlehem), the “East Shore” (Tel Aviv, Yafa), and the Negev (including Akaba).  

I have this impression that the tight religious extremists on both sides would opt to move to Gaza and Judea, the very secular citizens would move to the East Shore or Galilee and the economically minded people might reside in the Negev backed by strong financial incentives.  

The second phase will witness the return of the Palestinian refugees as ordered by the UN resolution of 193 in 1948 and the refugees would have the right to select the canton of their preferences.

I can foresee that the key offices in the central government would be equally, including gender, shared by the Palestinians and Israelis and a rotation imposed.  The representation in the cantons would be proportional to the general census of the period (at 5 years intervals).  The representation among sects, factions, or other types of social divisions within each “people” would also follow the proportions in the census.

I suggest to the interest of the future “Palesrael” State that Israel let Lebanon experience, without foreign interventions, the full extent of its caste structure so that the State of Palesrael might study the pitfalls and strength of such a system of co-existence and avoid the unnecessary miseries of minor civil wars and countless frustrations in its future unfolding.  The “Wall of Shame” constructed by the late vegetative Sharon has to come down.

It would be inevitable that the State of “Palesreal” be guaranteed a neutrality status (no pre-emptive wars within and outside its borders) by the world community and the regional powers.  Then, it is hoped and strongly desired that the State of Lebanon would secure this neutrality status.  Amen.

Judge Rejects Application of Israeli Law in Landmark Defamation Case Against Palestinian Activist

by Alan Macleod March 10th, 2021

SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA — A Palestinian-American activist has vowed to continue fighting Apartheid after winning a court case brought against her in the U.S. by a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier.

Suhair Nafal was facing a defamation suit over a 2018 Facebook post condemning the murder that summer of Palestinian nurse Razan al-Najjar during the Great March of Return.

The case was brought by Israeli-American Rebecca Rumshiskaya, who was seeking $6 million in damages after Nafal described her as “evil” for joining the Israeli military.

Rumshiskaya was also attempting to convince the California court to try Nafal under Israeli law.

The attempt backfired as Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Griffin rejected the suit, even ordering Rumshisky to pay Nafal legal costs under anti-SLAPP laws, effectively deeming it an attempt to intimidate Nafal into silence.

Nafal moved to the U.S. as an 8 year-old and was relatively apolitical until she saw images of the destruction caused by Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,000 people. (and thousands of injured and handicapped Palestinians)

Since then, she has gained an online following and joined a number of pro-Palestinian organizations, including New Generation for Palestine. The post that triggered the lawsuit can be seen below.Suhair Nafal Facebook Post

Nafal’s Facebook post and the impetus for the lawsuit against her

While the post makes no connection between Rumshiskaya and al-Najjar’s murder, other, copycat posts did, explicitly claiming Rumshiskaya was the nurse’s killer. Rumshiskaya’s complaint states that she was inundated with hateful and violent messages as a result.

But it remains unclear why she sued Nafal and not others who did make demonstrably false accusations. 

“Not going to let them silence me”

Rumshiskaya is a Jewish American from Brookline, Massachusetts.

In 2012, she decided to emigrate to Israel and join the IDF. Not content with a non-combat role she had been assigned, she transferred to a combat intelligence unit.

The IDF used images of her in its promotions, which is how she came to Nafal attention. Rumshiskaya left the military in 2015, long before al-Najjar was killed. Her lawsuit describes Nafal as an “extremist” who “viciously defamed” her, and the Great March of Return as a Hamas-sponsored riot filled with terrorists using civilians as human shields.Rumshiskaya V Nafal

An IDF Facebook post featuring Rumshiskaya, left, and a photo of Nafal provided to MintPress, right

This conflicts with reports from human rights organizations, which describe the events as a demonstration, pinning the blame for the deaths on Israeli forces and noting that 70 of the 183 Palestinians killed were shot in the head. (snipers targets. Later, the snipers were ordered to aim at the legs of demonstrators, so that they will Not return to join the marches)

78 journalists and medics were also shot. No Israelis were killed.

“Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed,” the IDF stated. There was no evidence of human shields being used, although the IDF have used Palestinian children as such in the past.

“To be honest, I was in disbelief,” Nafal said, when first learning about the accusations.

“I was stunned by their audacity… But truth be told, I sort of saw it coming. I knew the day would come where I was going to be pursued by them, based on my visibility on social media.”

Nafal rejects the characterization of her as an extremist, telling MintPress, “If extremist political ideology means advocating on behalf of people who are occupied, oppressed, starved, and killed with impunity by colonialist occupiers who justify their violence based on a claim of their own religious supremacy then yes. I’m a extremist.”

I had no choice but to continue what I was doing. I was not going to let them silence me. I continue to post like I’d always posted. I did not shy away, for one minute. And I will continue to share news of what is happening. And I am going to continue doing what I am doing. If anything, I am going to do more of it.”

No Israeli First Amendment

Perhaps the strangest thing about the case was that the plaintiff’s team attempted to convince the Orange County court to apply Israeli law to the case between a Bostonian and a Californian.

“The pleadings they filed make it clear this was all about Israeli interests, although they used Rebecca as the anchor for the lawsuit,” said Haytham Faraj, Nafal attorney.

Faraj told MintPress that any future attempts to silence criticism of Israel have been dealt a serious blow by the ruling, noting the fundamental disconnect between Israeli law and the First Amendment:

What this judge brilliantly uncovered is that Israeli law is inherently inconsistent with American values. The truth is always a defense to defamation virtually the world over in democracies — except in Israel, where it is not a defense unless it is in the state’s interests… So if they do try to [pursue] other challenges, they will be unsuccessful.”

MintPress spoke via email to Rumshiskaya’s attorney, Michael Weiser, who expressed his disappointment with the decision. Weiser disputes Faraj’s reading of events, stating that the case was “dismissed on procedural grounds and the merits of what happened were never addressed.”

Attempts to chill

If Nafal had lost the case, she would have been required to pay the plaintiff $6 million in damages, which she does not have.

Because of this, all her property and possessions and even future earnings could be taken or garnished. Furthermore, interest in these cases accrues in California at 10% per year, meaning that she would have been destined for a life of poverty.

Fortunately for her, Judge Griffin dismissed the case, even ordering Rumshiskaya to pay her defense costs. Faraj saw this case as much larger than just Nafal:

This is a lawsuit that attempted to establish precedent in the U.S. for exercising Israeli law against criticism of Israel and Israeli agents. It is nothing but that.

She could have sued Suhair under U.S. law within the few weeks that followed the post when there was the most amount of activity and she was, presumably, most affected by it. But this is not just a lawsuit by Rebecca, this is a lawsuit by an enterprise that seeks to silence anyone who would dare criticize Israel.”

The legal nature of criticism of Israel in the United States is in limbo. “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism” outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flatly stated in January, adding that BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions,) the practice of refusing to economically cooperate with Israel until it retreats from the Occupied Territories is a manifestation of anti-Jewish racism.

Targeting BDS

Currently, the majority of American states require those receiving public funds (such as state employees) to sign pledges not to practice BDS on pain of termination.

A number of Texas employees have lost their jobs after refusing to sign. Last year, a Georgia university also shut down a media literacy conference after journalist Abby Martin refused to sign the pledge. Martin is currently suing the state.https://cdn.iframe.ly/0o9tGba?iframe=card-small&v=1&app=1

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Education ordered both Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to alter their joint Middle Eastern Studies programs, as it had determined they were presenting Israel in too negative a light. Henry Reichman, chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure described the Trump administration’s interference as a “chillingly inappropriate political intrusion into curricular decisions best made by faculty.”

On BDS, Nafal categorically rejects the Trump position:

BDS is one of the most important non-violent tools of resistance we have. And it is working. And that is precisely why they are investing and rallying around to try to shut it down. It is probably their biggest threat, in my opinion, along with social media. They are being exposed.”

The Biden administration has, so far, shown little break with its predecessor when it comes to Israel and Palestine.

The president has decided to keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial Trump-era decision that effectively rubber-stamps the occupation. Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm the administration’s “unwavering commitment” to Israeli security.

For Nafal, however, change comes from below:

It is not about the administration. It is going to take the efforts of everybody in the United States and internationally to push the truth. And in time, justice will prevail.”

Feature photo | Pictured left is a photo of Rumshiskaya taken for an IDF promotional campaign, and right, a photo of Nafal provided to MintPress.

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News.

After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles

He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

Anonymous launched a hacking campaign against Israel

In a previous attack on Monday, Anonymous knocked out multiple Israeli government sites after one of the organization’s members died in the West Bank over the weekend.

22-year-old Tayeb Abu Shehada was killed during a protest in the village of Huwwara in the West Bank after Israeli settlers and soldiers opened fire on demonstrators, reported Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

Anonymous ‘knocks out’ Mossad website over Israel’s Gaza offensive

Hacker group Anonymous has reportedly taken down the website of the Israeli secret service Mossad in protest of Israel’s military incursion in Gaza. The ‘hacktivists’ have already targeted a number of organizations in their mission to stop the Gaza genocide.

Mossad’s website went offline at around 00:40 GMT and is still down at the time of writing. The Israeli government has yet to make any comment on the supposed hack attack.

Published time: July 31, 2014 06:18
Edited time: July 31, 2014 06:57
AFP Photo / Daniel Roland

Anonymous launched a hacking campaign against Israel coinciding with the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 7.

Anonymous claims that since its operation began, it has taken down “thousands” of Israeli-based websites.

The hacktivist group also released 170 log-in details last Monday which they said belonged to Israeli officials.

Anonymous has also issued an appeal to all of its followers to intensify their attacks on Israeli websites.

“We are calling upon the Anonymous collective, and the elite hacker groups to join our crusade, and to wage cyber war against the state of Israel once more,” said a public statement from the group posted online last Friday.

“As a collective ‘Anonymous’ does not hate Israel, it hates that Israel’s government is committing genocide & slaughtering unarmed people in Gaza to obtain more land at the border.”

The group launched hundreds of attacks on Israeli sites two years ago during the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) previous operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ in Gaza.

Anonymous succeeded in leaking the data of 5,000 Israeli officials and hacking into the Israeli deputy premier’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The conflict in Gaza shows no signs of relenting with both the IDF and Hamas continuing to exchange rocket fire. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports than over 1.350 people have been killed in Gaza, while the Israeli side has lost 56 soldiers to the fighting

 

Amnesty International: Respond to these questions on Gaza genocide

25 July 2014

Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers

Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood during a military operation in eastern Gaza City, 22 July 2014.
Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Al Shejaeiya (Shuja3iyya) neighbourhood during a military operation in eastern Gaza City, 22 July 2014. © EPA
1. What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July?
What should happen next?

Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1 to establish a commission of inquiry and notes that the wording allows the commission to investigate violations of international law by all parties to the current conflict.

The commission of inquiry represents an important opportunity to break the cycle of persistent impunity for crimes under international law in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

In order to be effective the commission of inquiry must be thorough, independent and impartial, and look into violations by any party to the conflict.

It must be adequately resourced and have unrestricted access to all relevant areas. Amnesty International urges all states – including all EU member states, who abstained on the resolution – to co-operate with the commission as required.

2. What are the key obligations of the parties to the conflict during the hostilities under international humanitarian law?

During an armed conflict, all parties – whether state or non-state armed forces – must respect international humanitarian law, which aims to protect civilians by regulating the conduct of all sides in hostilities.

States also continue to have an obligation to respect international human rights law during a conflict.

Under international humanitarian law, all sides in an armed conflict must distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian structures, and direct attacks only at the former.

Deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects – such as homes, medical facilities, schools, governmental buildings – that are not being used for military purposes are prohibited and are war crimes.

Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks (where the likely number of civilian casualties or damage to civilian property outweighs the anticipated military advantage to be gained) are also prohibited.

All sides must take necessary precautions in attack to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects. This includes giving civilians effective warnings ahead of attacks, and cancelling or suspending an attack if it becomes apparent that the target is civilian or that the attack would be disproportionate.

They also must take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks. For example, warring parties should avoid endangering civilians by storing ammunition in, and launching attacks from, populated civilian areas.

3. What are the different patterns of violations by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip that Amnesty International has identified since Israel launched Operation “Protective Edge” on 8 July 2014? 

Israeli forces have carried out attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, using precision weaponry such as drone-fired missiles, as well as munitions such as artillery, which cannot be precisely targeted, on very densely populated residential areas, such as Shuja’iyyeh.

They have also directly attacked thousands of homes. Israel appears to consider the homes of people associated with Hamas to be legitimate military targets, a stance that does not conform to international humanitarian law.

Several medical facilities and non-military governmental buildings across the Gaza Strip have also been destroyed or damaged.

The UN has reported that one of its schools sheltering displaced people in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza was shelled by Israeli forces on at least two occasions.

Another such school sheltering displaced families in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza was struck on 24 July, killing at least 15 civilians and injuring many others, and the UN has called for an immediate investigation.

Although the Israeli authorities claim to be warning civilians in Gaza, a consistent pattern has emerged that their actions do not constitute an “effective warning” under international humanitarian law.

Israeli attacks have also caused mass displacement of Palestinian civilians within the Gaza Strip.

4. What is Amnesty International’s position on the firing of indiscriminate rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian armed groups?

Do other actions of Palestinian armed groups in Gaza since 8 July 2014 violate international humanitarian law?

According to the Israeli army, Hamas’ military wing and other Palestinian armed groups fired over 1,700 rockets into Israel from 8 to 18 July, and scores of rockets continue to be fired every day.

Three civilians in Israel have been killed. Homes and other civilian properties in Israel have been damaged.

International humanitarian law prohibits the use of weapons that are by nature indiscriminate. The rockets fired from Gaza into Israel cannot be aimed exactly at their objective and their use violates international humanitarian law.

The firing of indiscriminate rockets and mortars also endangers Palestinian civilians inside the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank ?.

Statements by some leaders of Palestinian armed groups also indicate that they have no qualms about launching attacks against civilians and that they in fact carry out such attacks intending to kill and injure Israeli civilians.

Attacks that directly target civilians and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians constitute war crimes.

5. When the Israeli military has warned residents of a specific area in the Gaza Strip to evacuate the area, does that fulfil its obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law?

Effective advance warning to civilians is only one of the prescribed precautions in attack aimed at minimizing harm to civilians.

When Israeli forces have given warning in many cases key elements of effective warning have been missing, including timeliness, informing civilians where it is safe to flee, and providing safe passage and sufficient time to flee before an attack.

There also have been reports of lethal strikes launched too soon after a warning to spare civilians.

In any event, issuing a warning does not absolve an attacking force of its obligations to spare civilians, including by taking all other necessary precautions to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian structures.

Israel’s continuing military blockade on the Gaza Strip and the closure of the Rafah crossing by the Egyptian authorities since the hostilities began mean that civilians in Gaza cannot flee to neighbouring countries.

6. The Israeli authorities claim that Hamas and Palestinian armed groups use Palestinian civilians in Gaza as “human shields”. Does Amnesty International have any evidence that this has occurred during the current hostilities? 

Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to “shield” specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.

In previous conflicts Amnesty International has documented that Palestinian armed groups have stored munitions in and fired indiscriminate rockets from residential areas in the Gaza Strip in violation of international humanitarian law. Reports have also emerged during the current conflict of Hamas urging residents to ignore Israeli warnings to evacuate.

However, these calls may have been motivated by a desire to minimize panic and displacement, in any case, such statements are not the same as directing specific civilians to remain in their homes as “human shields” for fighters, munitions, or military equipment. Under international humanitarian law even if “human shields” are being used Israel’s obligations to protect these civilians would still apply.

7. There are reports that Israeli forces have used flechettes in the current military operation in the Gaza Strip. What is Amnesty International’s position on the use of flechettes? Has the Israeli military used flechettes in Gaza before? 

Flechettes are 3.5cm-long steel darts, sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 of these darts are packed into shells which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m by 100m.

Flechettes are designed to be used against massed infantry attacks or squads of troops in the open, and obviously pose a very high risk to civilians when fired in densely populated residential areas.

Local human rights groups have reported cases in which civilians in Gaza have been killed and injured by flechette shells. Amnesty International has not yet been able to verify particular cases during the current hostilities, but has previously documented Israeli forces’ use of flechette rounds, for example during Operation “Cast Lead”, resulting in the killing of civilians, including children.

Flechettes are not specifically prohibited by international humanitarian law per se, however, they should never be used in densely populated areas.

8. What is Amnesty International calling on the international community to do at this point?

All states (particularly key suppliers, for example USA for Israel) must suspend all transfers of weapons, munitions and other military equipment and technology to all sides until there is no longer a substantial risk that such items will be used for serious violations of international humanitarian law or serious human rights abuses.

The suspension should include all indirect exports via other countries, the transfer of military components and technologies and any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate such transfers.

States should use the 2009 report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and the upcoming report of the commission of inquiry mandated this week by the Human Rights Council as a basis to exercise universal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes under international law before their national courts.


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