Protective Edge War Crimes

BADIL Releases No Safe Place: crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated by high-level Israeli officials in the course of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

The BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights announces the release of No Safe Place; a report based upon BADIL’s formal submission to the International Criminal Court, delivered to the Office of the Prosecutor in February 2016. No Safe Place provides a damning indictment of Israeli acts and policies employed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’; and concludes that high-level Israeli officials were culpable for both war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of this operation.
 
Protective Edge – a 50 day military assault directed by Israel against the Gaza Strip and its population – left more than 2,250 Palestinians dead, and almost 170,000 Palestinian homes destroyed or damaged, leaving 108,000 Palestinians homeless. The Gaza Strip’s sole power plant ceased operation following Israeli airstrikes. 17 out of 32 hospitals were damaged, with six closed down as a result. Out of 97 primary health centers monitored for damage and closures by UN bodies, four were completely destroyed, while 45 sustained damage. Palestinian agricultural infrastructure suffered damage to the tune of $550m.
 
This staggering level of death, injury and destruction naturally produced mass forced displacement of Palestinian civilians on a vast scale, and at the height of the violence roughly half a million Palestinians were internally displaced inside the Gaza Strip, accounting for 28% of the enclave’s total population.
 
With forewords from Professor Richard Falk and Dr Michael Kearney, No Safe Place draws upon 90 interviews conducted by BADIL with Palestinians displaced during Protective Edge, and locates this displacement within the appropriate frameworks of international humanitarian and criminal law.
 
As such, the report sets out in vivid detail the wide range of policies and practices deployed by Israel which, contrary to international law, forced Palestinians to flee their homes and communities en masse, including Israel’s active targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Moreover, these displaced Palestinians were provided with no safe place to which to flee. To the contrary, humanitarian shelters and civilian escape routes were deliberately attacked by Israeli forces, whilst Israel’s continuing closure of the Gaza Strip has made it impossible to conduct adequate reconstruction, with the result that, for many tens of thousands of Palestinians inside this enclave, their displacement and suffering has no ending in sight.
 
The report thus concludes that there exists a reasonable basis to believe that high-level Israeli officials, within both military and political office, were culpable of, inter alia, the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, and the crime against humanity of persecution. In addition, the report highlights a range of grievous structural failings in Israel’s internal investigative processes; failings which remove any possibility of these processes providing effective review of the conduct of Israeli forces and/or Israeli officials during Protective Edge.
 
Israel shows no willingness to address these critical shortcomings, and intervention by the International Criminal Court therefore represents the only realistic means of holding to account Israeli perpetrators of these international crimes, and of delivering justice to Palestinian victims. Accordingly, BADIL calls upon the Office of the Prosecutor, as a matter of priority, to initiate a formal investigation into the conduct of high-level Israeli officials in the context of Operation Protective Edge.

This report constitutes a progressive and expert-reviewed analysis on an area which has not previously been thoroughly explored; namely that of forced displacement of Palestinians as a war crime and crime against humanity. This is an area which is steadily gaining greater awareness in the context of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory, with forcible transfer recently receiving extensive coverage in the report of the UN Secretary-General on Israeli settlement construction.  To this end, the evidence presented within No Safe Place points directly towards the culpability of senior Israeli politicians and military commanders for the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, as well as the crime against humanity of persecution.
For any questions or media requests relating to this email, please contact media@badil.org
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Criminalisation of Free Speech and Double Standards | Dissident Voice

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/04/criminalisation-of-free-speech-and-double-standards/

These opening paragraphs from the Dissident Voice post above show how close we sit in Oz to the Canadian govt’s obsequious relationship with the zionist lobby and Israel.

The BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement is a legitimate peaceful struggle against Israeli apartheid in an illegal occupation. But as we have known forever, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist…. Oh Canada…zero tolerance against rhetoric? Spare me….

“In what appears to be another attempt to suppress criticism of Israel, the Canadian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel which makes the claim that “the selective targeting of Israel is the new face of anti-Semitism” and declares that Canada will oppose those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Shortly after the MOU was signed, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced to the UN General Assembly that the Canadian government would exercise “zero tolerance” toward “all forms of discrimination including rhetoric towards Israel, and attempts to delegitimise Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”1

Israel trains our dual citizens. We consider the IDF a ‘legitimate’ force and they act with impunity. How will these fighters behave when they come home?

As you may know, I am a huge fan of Jonathon Cook. A tireless sound journalist who lives in Nazareth. His insights and investigations are always read-worthy. His latest blog includes video’s of IOF home invasions that show  the complete disregard for human rights towards the Palestinian families whose homes are entered and whose children are traumatised.

The senior IOF officer continues to alert his young soldiers to the need to have both hands on their weapons at all times and the disregard and abuse shown toward the Palestinian families is an offence to humanity.

Watch how  young Israeli Dual Nationals are trained and what they are expected to do when they go with our governments blessing to do ‘a tour of IOF duty’.

Wonder how their experiences in maintaining an illegal occupation will radicalise and transform them.

Consider how their apartheid occupation ‘duties’ will effect them and their relationships with others in our community when they return to Australia when violations of the human rights of Palestinians is ‘just another day’s work’ for them.

As Jonathon says what normal human instincts of compassion have to be battered into submission, what ugly instincts of tribal superiority have to be cultivated?”

Videos of Israeli raids on sleeping children

25 March 2015

I suspect the word “occupation” – even the more precise “belligerent occupation” – fails to convey to most people the reality of daily horrors inflicted on the Palestinians. Of course, we know that occupations in general are bad and that it would be better if this particular one ended. But what does an occupation feel like if you’re a child, if you’re four or eight years old?

Here are two videos, released by B’Tselem, to remind us of what an occupation is like as lived experience rather than as an abstract concept. They document masked, armed soldiers breaking into the homes of Palestinians in Hebron in the middle of the night to force children awake, and then photograph and interrogate them. The soldiers go door to door, from one apartment to the the next, as casually as if they were coming to read the electricity meter. For the soldiers, this is just one of dozens of “jobs” they have that night terrifying families.

Behind the immediate terror of being confronted by these faceless soldiers, the children know from friends or family that there is a real danger they will be seized – maybe tonight or another night – if the military decide they are wanted. They will be taken from their parents without warning to a military prison, where they may be held for months and their family will probably be unable to visit them.

What damage does this do to the children – and what dread do the parents have to live with?

Give a thought too, even if a very secondary one, to these soldiers. What normal human instincts of compassion have to be battered into submission, what ugly instincts of tribal superiority have to be cultivated, for someone to behave the ways these soldiers – and many thousands more like them – do?

– See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-03-25/videos-of-israeli-raids-on-sleeping-children/#sthash.ZSf8tAg7.dpuf

Uri Avnery on the so called ‘rise of anti-Semitism’

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

I have not been astounded by the comments in MSM about a ‘rise in anti-semitism’ following recent events of ‘attack’ on Jewish businesses and individuals in France and Denmark. There was a Radio National program this week where concerns of just this sort were raised. I have watched the BBC program ‘Question Time’ of 5th Feb where George Galloway was accused by Jonathan Freedland editor in chief of the British Guardian newspaper . (The episode begins at 39.15 mins in the video below)

Freedland himself has questions to answer regarding pro-Zionism in his running of the newspaper raised by the respected X Guardian  journalist, Jonathon Cook, Jonathan Cook wrote about this in a recent blog,

All of the panellists, including Galloway, went to great lengths to express concern about attacks on Jews. However, it was entirely predictable that none of them except Galloway noted that Muslims were in fact the group most in danger of hate speech and physical attacks in the UK.

When Galloway did so, the other panellists accused him of engaging in an “arms race”, adding that there was nothing to be gained from trying to show who was harmed more by racism. This was also a point Freedland made while ‘defending himself’ against Galloway’s post-show complaint.

Such a response is disingenuous in the extreme. Freedland and the other panellists were the ones who tried to  turn this issue into an “arms race” by prioritising one group’s suffering over another’s. If they were genuinely concerned about the safety of minorities in Britain and preventing the rise of a new wave of European fascism, they would be highlighting the rise of anti-Muslim feeling at least as much as they do anti-Jewish feeling.

But in truth they do the exact opposite. The “arms race” comment was meant to shut down any debate about race-hatred towards Muslims. In fact, it is very much part of that hate speech, making the expression of concern about the safety of Muslims seem marginal or like special pleading.

– See Cook’s  full post in new tab here 

George Galloway wrote post his BBC experience….

a statement of mine attacking antisemitism and the Holocaust was transformed by Freedland into a charge on my indictment for anti-Semitism……….he continues….There is and always has been anti-semitism in Britain as there has always been racism of other kinds. I am its implacable enemy and have been all my life…., But if there are, as Freedland said,around 300,000 Jews in Britain then statistically speaking the number of attacks upon Jews even if we include attacks on their properties bears no comparison to the numbers of hate attacks upon other minorities including homosexuals, black people, Asians, not to mention Muslims who have suffered many times over more such attacks than have British Jews, the main difference being there are not many police officers standing guard outside mosques. Recorded anti-semitic hate crimes constitute 0.5% of all recorded hate crimes in Britain almost the same proportion as Jews to the population as a wholeAll attacks on any minorities or their property should surely be condemned equally.” (my emphasis)

The point made by Cook about the panellists accusation that George Galloway was turning this into an “arms race” is where I want to pick up. Slogans are becoming the norm, they are cheap and fuel rather than stem the problem of racial violence.

  • There should be genuine concern for anyone innocently caught up in broad sweep racial and religious hatred and violence.
  • There should be genuine concern and capacity for recourse when there is clearly fear mongering or MSM racial and religious bias in reporting ‘news’.

There are some interesting insights in Avnery’s post.  Read Ury Avnery’s Bio here http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html

ANTI-WHAT?
21/02/15  (see original post http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html )

ANTI-SEMITISM is on the rise. All over Europe it is raising its ugly head. Jews are in danger everywhere. They must make haste and come home to Israel before it is too late.

True? Untrue?

Nonsense.

PRACTICALLY ALL the alarming incidents which have taken place in Europe recently – especially in Paris and Copenhagen – in which Jews were killed or attacked – had nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

All these outrages were conducted by young Muslims, mostly of Arab descent. They were part of the ongoing war between Israelis and Arabs that has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. They are not descended from the pogrom in Kishinev and not related to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In theory, Arab anti-Semitism is an oxymoron, since Arabs are Semites. Indeed, Arabs may be more Semitic then Jews, because Jews have mingled for many centuries with Gentiles.

But, of course, the German publicist Wilhelm Marr, who probably invented the term Antisemitismus in 1880 (after inventing the term Semitismus seven years earlier) never met an Arab in his life. For him the only Semites were Jews, and his crusade was solely against them.

(Adolf Hitler, who took his racism seriously, applied it to all Semites. He could not stand Arabs either. Contrary to legend, he disliked the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had fled to Germany. After meeting him once for a photo-opportunity arranged by the Nazi propaganda machine, he never agreed to meet him again.)

SO WHY do young Muslims in Europe shoot Jews, after killing cartoonists who have insulted The Prophet?

Experts say that the basic reason is their profound hatred for their host countries, in which they feel (quite rightly) that they are despised, humiliated and discriminated against. In countries like France, Belgium, Denmark and many others, their violent rage needs an outlet.

But why the Jews?

There are at least two main reasons:

The first is local. French Muslims are mostly immigrants from North Africa. During the desperate struggle for Algerian independence, almost all the Algerian Jews sided with the colonialist regime against the local freedom fighters. When all Jews and many Arabs emigrated from Algeria to France, they brought their fight with them. Since they now live side by side in the crowded ghettos around Paris and elsewhere, their mutual hatred lives on and often leads to violence.

The second reason is the ongoing Arab-Zionist conflict, which started with the mass immigration of Jews to Arab Palestine, continued with the long list of wars and is now in full bloom. Practically every Arab in the world, and most Muslims are emotionally involved in the conflict.

But what have French Jews to do with that far-away conflict? Everything.

When Binyamin Netanyahu does not miss an opportunity to declare that he represents all the Jews in the world, he makes all the world’s Jews responsible for Israeli policies and actions.

When Jewish institutions in France, the US and everywhere totally and uncritically identify with the policies and operations of Israel, such as the recent Gaza war, they turn themselves voluntarily into potential victims of revenge actions. The French Jewish leadership, CRIF, did so just now.

Neither of these reasons has anything to do with anti-Semitism.

ANTI-SEMITISM is an integral part of European culture.

Many theories have been put forward to explain this totally illogical phenomenon, which borders on a collective mental disease.

My own preferred theory is religious. All over Europe, and now also in the Americas, Christian children in their formative years hear the stories of the New Testament. They learn that a Jewish mob was shouting for the blood of Jesus, the gentle and mild preacher, while the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilatus, was desperately trying to save his life. The Roman is depicted as a humane, likeable person, while the Jews are seen as a vile, despicable mob.

This story cannot be true. Roman rulers all over the Empire used to crucify potential troublemakers. The behavior of the Jewish authorities in the story does not conform to Jewish law. But the New Testament story, written long after the death of Jesus (whose real Hebrew name was Jeshua), was aimed at the Roman audience the Christians were trying to convert, in hot competition with the Jewish missionaries.

Also, the early Christians were a small, persecuted sect in Jewish Jerusalem, and their grudge lives on to this very day.

The picture of the evil Jews crying out for the death of Jesus is unconsciously imprinted in the minds of the Christian multitudes and has inspired Jew-hatred in every new generation. The results were slaughter, mass-expulsions, inquisition, persecution in every form, pogroms, and finally the Holocaust.

THERE has never been anything like this in Muslim history.

The Prophet had some small wars with neighboring Jewish tribes, but the Koran contains strict instructions on how to deal with Jews and Christians, the People of the Book. They had to be treated fairly and were exempted from military duty in return for a poll tax. Throughout the ages there were some rare anti-Jewish (and anti-Christian) outbreaks here and there, but Jews in Muslim lands fared incomparably better than in Christian ones.

If this had not been so, there would have been no “Golden Age” of Muslim-Jewish cultural symbiosis in medieval Spain. It would have been impossible for the Muslim Ottoman empire to accept and absorb almost all the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from medieval Spain, driven out by their Catholic Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella. The outstanding Jewish religious thinker, Moses Maimonides (the “Rambam”) could not have become the personal physician and adviser of the outstanding Muslim sultan, Salah-al-Din al-Ayubi (Saladin).

The present conflict started as a clash between two national movements, Jewish Zionism and secular Arab nationalism, and had only slight religious overtones. As my friends and I have warned many times, it is now turning into a religious conflict – a calamity with potentially grievous consequences.

Nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

SO WHY does the entire Israeli propaganda machine, including all Israeli media, insist that Europe is experiencing a catastrophic rise of anti-Semitism? In order to call upon European Jews to come to Israel (in Zionist terminology: “make Aliya”).

For a Zionist true believer, every Jew’s arrival in Israel is an ideological victory. Never mind that once in Israel, new immigrants – especially from countries like Ethiopia and Ukraine – are neglected. As I have frequently quoted: “Israelis like immigration but don’t like immigrants”.

In the wake of the recent events in Paris and Copenhagen, Binyamin Netanyahu has publicly called upon French and Danish Jews to pack up and come at once to Israel for their own safety. The prime ministers of both countries have furiously protested against these calls, which insinuate that they are unable or unwilling to protect their own citizens. I suppose that no leader likes a foreign politician to call upon his citizens to leave.

There is something grotesque in this call: as the late Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz remarked, Israel is the only place in the world where Jewish lives are in constant danger. With a war every few years and violent incidents almost every day, he had a point.

But in the wake of the dramatic events, many “French” Jews – originally from North Africa – may be induced to leave France. They may not all come to Israel. The US, French Canada and Australia offer tempting alternatives.

There are many good reasons for a Jew to come to Israel: a mild climate, the Hebrew language, living among fellow Jews, and what not. But running away from anti-Semites is not one of them.

IS THERE real anti-Semitism in Europe? I assume that there is.

In many European countries there are old and new super-nationalist groups, who try to attract the masses by hatred of the Other. Jews are the Others par excellence (along with Gypsies/Roma). An ethno-religious group dispersed in many countries, belonging and not belonging to their host countries, with foreign – and therefore sinister – beliefs and rituals. All the European nationalist movements which sprang up in the 19th and 20th centuries were more or less anti-Semitic.

Jews have always been, and still are, the ideal scapegoat for the European poor. It was the German (non-Jewish) socialist August Bebel who said that “anti-Semitism is the socialism of the stupid guys”.

With frequent economic slumps and a widening gap between the local poor and the multinational super-rich, the need for scapegoats is rising. But I do not believe that these marginal groups, even if some of them are not so marginal anymore, constitute a real anti-Semitic surge.

Be that as it may, the outrages in Paris and Copenhagen have nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

Likud use vile electoral propaganda in their current drive to maintain power in Israel.

I just watched SBS ‘The FEED’ brief report on the outrage of Amman based Palestinian Hip Hop band, TORBYEH at the unauthorised theft of their music in a vile Likud advert for the upcoming elections in Israel.

Likud has hijacked on of the band’s  tracks for a deplorable ad that relates voting ‘left’ in the upcoming Israeli election with a vote for terrorism and connects the band’s song ‘Ghorbah’ (meaning ‘exile’ in Arabic) with IS.

Torabyeh’s track, ‘Ghorbah’ from 3 years ago, for your edification below

Yahoo News who I never like to quote, (but was lost for other reports) states;  (full report here)

  Torabyeh denounced the unauthorised artistic collaboration with the Israeli party’s “electoral propaganda attacking the so-called Zionist ‘left-wing’.”

“We strongly condemn and reject this ruthless infringement of intellectual property rights and the distortion of the reputation of Torabyeh,” the group said on their Facebook page.

They said use of their song in this context “implicates the Torabyeh group by containing serious accusations of terrorism and association with IS which is consequently putting the group’s members lives at risk”.

Torabyeh stressed it rejected “all forms of cooperation with the Zionist enemy”, and pledged to “take all necessary legal action against those responsible”.

The Likud advert shows the fear mongering behaviour of Netanyahu and his Likud goons. Sorry I can’t translate Hebrew (but not sorry really). But here’s the drum from liveleak…..

The video shows actors playing Islamic State terrorists driving in a white pickup truck with Islamic State flags waving from its windows on a desert road, as Arabic rap music plays in the background.They pull up next to another car and ask the (Israeli) driver how to get to Jerusalem and get the response, “turn left.”As the terrorists drive away, the “Anyone but Bibi” slogan can be seen on the truck’s bumper with the words, “the Left will surrender to terrorism,” and bullet holes appear on the screen. In the end of the clip the title shows “It is us or them. Only The Likud. Only Netanyau” The video is called: It’s us or them – Daesh version.
 (The) Left part(y) (sic) Meretz already demanded to probe the Likud for incitment in this political campaign ad”. See article here

The Likud Advert…..

The new UN Peace Envoy clearly shows the shonkiness of the “Middle East Process”

Repost from Medhajnews.com Indian news site on the announcement of Nikolai Mladenov as UN envoy to the ‘Middle East peace process’.

Nikolai Mladenov Photo BGNES

Nikolai Mladenov Photo BGNES

The article in full below.

“Set-Up! New UN Peace Envoy Mladenov To Palestine Is A Known Zionist!”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) warned of the appointment of Nikolay Mladenov as United Nations envoy, replacing Robert Serry, to the Middle East peace process for being known for his support of Israel.

Kayed al-Ghoul, member of the PFLP Political Bureau, said of the appointment “It is contradictory to any effort leading to real peace with justice in the region; rather Mladenov will offer a real cover for the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people”.

Ghoul said, in a statement that the appointment of Mladenov in this position is a further attempt by powerful parties in the international organization, particularly the United States, to strengthen the position of the occupation state in international institutions concerned with the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In the same context, Ghoul denounced the attacks and pressures to which William Schabas, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli attack on Gaza and its war crimes against the Palestinian people, was subjected to by Israel and its allies, forcing his resignation and leading to his replacement by a US judge on the panel.

“This was clearly an attempt by the Netanyahu government to cut the road in front of the findings of Schabas on the crimes of the occupation in its war on Gaza”, said Ghoul.

Ghoul called on PA President Abu Mazen to take action urgently to stop the appointment of Mladenov because of his clear history of bias in favour of the Israeli occupation.

“It is definitely in contradiction with the rights of the Palestinian people and incompatible with the growing international public demand to hold the Israeli state accountable for its crimes and siege, and to support the rights of the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and justice”, he said.

Serry, whose name has been linked to Gaza reconstruction, is to end his work as UN envoy for Middle East peace process in March. He has been serving the position since 2007.

The legal period of the UN envoy for this assignment is five years. However, the UN Secretary General has the power to extend the term as happened with Serry who served the position for eight successive years.

Mladenov is known for his statements in support of Israel and justification of its crimes against the Palestinian people since he was foreign minister of Bulgaria.

Some history:

Mr. Mladenov earned a Master of Arts in War Studies at the King’s College of London, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of National and World Economy of Sofia, in Bulgaria. Has held several positions in the inter-governmental and non-governmental sectors, including at the World Bank, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republic Institute.

2010-13 As Bulgarian Foreign Minister he is quoted as saying…

  • Turkey reacted “a little bit too strongly” to the Gaza flotilla ‘episode’
  • In 2010 in a meeting with President Shimon Peres, he said, “We are lucky that the majority of Bulgarian Jews were saved [during the Holocaust] and were able to go on to build Israel. This [history] creates a strong, emotional connection and responsibility on our part to ensure Israel’s safety and its future.” Asked why he made these comments at a time when Israel was facing increasing international isolation, Mladenov said, “Because I think that is what friends are for, to be with our friends when they are in trouble.”
  • Israel, needed to “work better” on explaining its position in Europe
  • tiptoed around the question of whether he felt Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza was legitimate, saying this was a decision Israel had to make based on its own security. He did say, however, that it was important to allow the access of goods in and out of Gaza to develop the economy there, which in turn would create “a bigger constituency in support of peace, because people will see the benefits of that peace emerging.” See 2010 Jerusalem Post Article here

And video of him speaking on Anti-Semitism here

The PFLP response to this UN appointment is clear…

Al-Ghoul said that the appointment of Mladenov in this position is a further attempt by powerful parties in the international organization, particularly the United States, to strengthen the position of the occupation state in international institutions addressing the Palestinian cause and the “Arab-Israeli conflict.”

In this context, he denounced the attacks and pressures to which William Schabas, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli attack on Gaza and its war crimes against the Palestinian people, was subject by the Israeli state and its allies, forcing his resignation and leading to his replacement by a US judge on the panel. This was clearly an attempt by the Netanyahu government to cut the road in front of the findings of Schabas and the ICI on the crimes of the occupation in its war on Gaza, said al-Ghoul.”

 

My opinion?

Not a good pick Ban Ki Moon, but it does show your position and that of the UN quite clearly.

 

14yo Palestinian Female finally Released from Israeli Prison Two days Ago – Video Interview

Thanks to the Indian medhajnews.com for the update on Malak, you may remember I posted on her imprisonment by the Israeli judicial system for ‘stone throwing’ after she was arrested on her way home from school.

See my previous post here (in new tab/window) on Malak from Jan 26th 2015

Malak has spoken to the media on her release. See the 6:32 min video below, where unbelievably Malak states the arresting police accused her of being a member of Hamas.