Tuesday, July 10, 2012

506 R2P does NOT apply to Palestinians. Israel severs contact with UNHRC over settlements probe

R2P does NOT apply to Palestinians. Israel severs contact with UNHRC
over settlements probe

(1) UN HRC votes 36-1 to probe Israeli Settlements. China & Russia FOR,
United States AGAINST
(2) UNHRC vote: Czech, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Costa Rica, Italy &
Spain abstained
(3) Israel severs contact with UN Human Rights Council over settlements
probe
(4) Israel will bar the settlement fact-finding mission from entering
West Bank
(5) Israel considering "penal" measures against Palestinian Authority &
Human Rights Council
(6) Israel says Biblical links give it a right to the West Bank
(7) R2P does NOT apply to Palestinians. Gareth Evans defended Indonesian
invasion of East Timor

(1) UN HRC votes 36-1 to probe Israeli Settlements. China & Russia FOR,
United States AGAINST


http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/un-israel-settlements-idINDEE82L0I920120322

UN rights body launches probe into Israeli settlements

(Reuters) - The United Nations launched an international investigation
on Thursday into Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories,
with the United States isolated in voting against the initiative brought
by the Palestinian Authority.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA | Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:06am IST

The U.N. Human Rights Council condemned Israel's planned construction of
new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, saying they undermined the peace process and posed a threat
to the two-state solution and the creation of a contiguous and
independent Palestinian state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly dismissed the Geneva
forum on Thursday evening as "hypocritical" and having an "automatic
majority against Israel".

The 47-member forum adopted the resolution to launch a probe by a vote
of 36 states in favour, including China and Russia, with one against
(the United States). Ten abstained, including European Union members
Italy and Spain.

The text was introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and co-sponsored by states including Cuba and
Venezuela.

"In violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, Israel
is continuing construction of illegal settlements in the occupied
territories including East Jerusalem," Pakistan's ambassador Zamir Akram
told the talks.

The Council's resolution called on Israel to take serious measures to
prevent settler violence "including confiscation of arms and enforcement
of criminal sanctions", and protection of Palestinian civilians and
property in the territories.

The three investigators are to be named at a later date.

About 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West
Bank and East Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967 war.
Palestinians seeks the territory for an independent state along with the
Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Palestinians say settlements, considered illegal by the International
Court of Justice, the highest U.N. legal body for disputes, would deny
them a viable state. Israel cites historical and Biblical links to the
West Bank and says the status of settlements should be decided in peace
negotiations.

(2) UNHRC vote: Czech, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Costa Rica, Italy &
Spain abstained


Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 02:05:17 +0000 From: "AlanHart.net"
<noreply@alanhart.net>

http://www.eurasiareview.com/28032012-israels-occupation-who-is-most-out-of-touch-with-reality-oped/

Israel's Occupation: Who Is Most "Out Of Touch With Reality"?

Alan Hart

March 28, 2012

http://www.alanhart.net/israels-occupation-who-is-most-out-of-touch-with-reality/

[...] Of the 47 rotating member states of the UN Human Rights Council,
36 voted in favour of the decision to investigate Israel’s illegal
settlement activities and 10, including the Czech Republic, Romania,
Hungary, Poland, Costa Rica, Italy and Spain abstained. The United
States was the only country to vote against it. (As golfers say, par for
the course). ...

(3) Israel severs contact with UN Human Rights Council over settlements
probe


Kristoffer Larsson <krislarsson@comhem.se> 27 March 2012 04:54

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-cuts-contact-with-un-rights-council-to-protest-settlements-probe-1.420786

March 26, 2012

Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe

Israel's Foreign Ministry orders envoy to Geneva to ignore all phone
calls from rights council commissioner; 'The council sparked this
process', says a senior Israeli official.

By Barak Ravid

Israel decided Monday to sever all contact with the United Nations human
rights council and with its chief commissioner Navi Pillay, after the
international body decided to establish an international investigative
committee on the West Bank settlements.

The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel's ambassador to Geneva to cut off
contact immediately, instructing him to ignore phone calls from the
commissioner, a senior Israeli official said.

Israel will also bar a fact-finding team dispatched by the council from
entering Israel and the West Bank to investigate settlement construction.

"We will not permit members of the human rights council to visit Israel
and our ambassador has been instructed to not even answer phone calls,"
said the official. "The secretariat of the human rights council and Nabi
Pilawai sparked this process by establishing an international
investigative committee on settlements, and we will thus not work with
them anymore and will not appear before the council," said the official.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) criticized the move, saying
that it amounted to a “boycott of the UN,” and asked what “Lieberman and
Yisrael Beiteinu have in common with human rights.”

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) also condemned the decision, saying that Israel
“prefers settlements over human rights and contact with the
international community.” Khenin called the move “dangerous,” saying
that “through disconnecting from the world, the government is only
isolating itself.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN
body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with
Israel. "We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and
diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other," Lieberman said, referring
to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister's Bureau and the Foreign Ministry
said then that Israel would not cooperate with the UN committee. The
Prime Minister's Bureau decided Friday that the committee's members -
who are yet to be determined - would not be allowed into Israel.

Israel is also considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority
in response to the human rights council decision.

(4) Israel will bar the settlement fact-finding mission from entering
West Bank


ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@gmail.com> 27 March 2012 12:03

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=263451

Israel severs ties with UN Human Rights Council

By HERB KEINON

03/26/2012 12:43

Jerusalem calls in envoys from "friendly" states that voted for
fact-finding mission on settlements.

By Reuters

Following its decision Monday to cut off all ties with the UN Human
Rights Council, the Foreign Ministry must now draft guidelines regarding
what this entails and how long the ban will be in effect, a diplomatic
source said Monday.

One issue that needs to be determined is whether Israel would work
through other friendly countries on the council, such as the US, when it
wants its input to be heard.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman decided at a meeting of the ministry’s
top staff Monday morning to sever ties with the UNHRC, following the
body’s decision last Thursday by a vote of 36-1, with 10 abstentions, to
dispatch a fact-finding team to Israel to probe the impact of the
settlements on Palestinian human rights. Only the US voted against the move.

From now on, a senior diplomatic official said, Israel’s ambassador to
the UN organizations in Geneva will not appear before the council,
answer any of its phone calls or cooperate with Human Rights
Commissioner Navi Pillay in any way.

Israel will also bar the settlement fact-finding mission from entering
Israel.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN is not going to be withdrawn from Geneva,
however, because there are a number of other UN organizations there that
Israel does fully cooperate with and will continue to do so.

In addition, the ministry decided that efforts will be made to convince
other supportive countries on the council – first and foremost the US –
to cut ties with the organization as well, even though this seems
unlikely. One senior official said that even if success was not
guaranteed, an attempt must still be made.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Israel summoned on Monday the
ambassadors of several of the countries that voted for the factfinding
commission to protest their support for the move. He would not specify
which countries were involved, beyond saying that they were the
countries with whom Israel has friendly ties, and from whom Israel
expected “more.”

Austria and Belgium – which are EU members – and Norway and Switzerland
– which are not – were the four western European countries that voted
for the measure. By contrast, EU countries Italy, Spain, the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania all abstained. ...

(5) Israel considering "penal" measures against Palestinian Authority &
Human Rights Council


http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4207578,00.html

Israel considers steps against PA, Human Rights Council

State officials say government to discuss freezing PA funds, joint
projects and boycotting Human Rights Council following UN decision to
probe settlements

Published: 03.25.12, 14:58 / Israel News

Israeli state officials said that Israel is considering "penal" measures
against the Palestinian Authority as well as various steps against the
United Nations Human Rights Council, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

Last Thursday, the Council passed a resolution ordering a first probe
into how Israel's West Bank settlements may be infringing on
Palestinians' rights. The forum of eight ministers will discuss possible
responses this week, the sources said.

The cabinet will reportedly consider freezing tax money Israel
collects for the PA, as well as halting joint financial projects such as
an initiative to grant 5,000 extra work permits for Palestinians.

It is nevertheless unlikely that Israel will opt to freeze funds. This
option was last employed in November in response to UNESCO's decision to
upgrade the PA's status. This prompted worldwide condemnation and Israel
was forced to release the funds a month and a half later.

Israel has already decided it won't be cooperating with the commission
of inquiry and will apparently ban its members from entering the West
Bank, as was done in the Goldstone committee case.

"As far as we’re concerned there is no moral or political validity to
the UN's inquiry commission," Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon
said. "That is why we won't allow them to operate here."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel is considering
boycotting the Human Rights Council or recalling its ambassador to the
UN institutions in Geneva. However, such steps are likely to be employed
only in the case that Israel convinces other countries such as the US to
do the same.

A senior state official said this weekend that the Palestinians have
harmed themselves by pushing for the establishment of the committee. Six
of eight European Union states abstained in the vote on the resolution,
the official said, exposing a divide in the EU's stance on settlements.

Softening UN reports on children

Meanwhile, Israel is also working to soften a UN report on the treatment
of children in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The UN's annual report
on Children and Armed Conflict includes a special chapter on Israel.

A draft copy of the report, which was obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth,
levels harsh criticism at Israel. It accused security forces of trying
to recruit Palestinian children as collaborators and warns of a rise in
settler violence directed at Palestinian kids. The report also contains
testimonies of 116 Palestinian children who were arrested and reported
of solitary confinement and even beatings.

The Foreign Ministry together with the IDF and Justice Ministry has
already succeeded in softening the report's wording compared with past
reports. The report now also addresses the Itamar massacre and the
missile attack on a school bus.

(6) Israel says Biblical links give it a right to the West Bank

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/un-israel-settlements-idINDEE82L0I920120322

UN rights body launches probe into Israeli settlements

(Reuters) - The United Nations launched an international investigation
on Thursday into Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories,
with the United States isolated in voting against the initiative brought
by the Palestinian Authority.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA | Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:06am IST

[...] Israel cites historical and Biblical links to the West Bank and
says the status of settlements should be decided in peace negotiations.

(7) R2P does NOT apply to Palestinians. Gareth Evans defended Indonesian
invasion of East Timor


http://williambowles.info/2012/03/07/responsibility-to-protect-or-justifying-the-right-to-project-power-by-william-bowles/

Responsibility to Protect or justifying the Right to Project Power? By
William Bowles

7 March 2012 — williambowles.info

Frankly, it's not easy defending the Ba'ath regime in Syria, after all
not so long ago the Communist Party in Syria and other left groups were
suppressed by the ruling Ba'ath Party, its members thrown in jail and
even killed[1]. But I make no apology for defending the Assad regime's
right to independence and to resist foreign subversion and an attempted
takeover by the Empire under the guise of the 'Responsibility to Protect'.

The doctrine of the 'Responsibility to Protect' [sic], is a stroke of PR
genius that originated as the brainchild of a British colonial settler
descendent in Australia, Gareth Evans, and a former Labour Party
minister. The history of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is,
according to its 'official' website 'The Responsibility to Protect'
(formerly known as the Right to Intervene, more on this below) as follows:

{quote}
Led by Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia, and Mohamed
Sahnoun, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, the Commission
issued its report in December 2001. Focusing on the "right of
humanitarian intervention", this report examined when, if ever, it is
appropriate for states [to] take coercive – and in particular military -
action, against another state for the purpose of protecting populations
at risk. In essence, the group concluded that when a group (or groups)
of people is suffering from egregious acts of violence resulting from
internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state
where these crimes are taking place is unable or unwilling to act to
prevent or protect its peoples, the international community has a moral
duty to intervene to avert or halt these atrocities from occurring. —
History and Timeline of R2P
{endquote} <http://r2pcoalition.org/content/view/22/48/>

This is the same Gareth 'Biggles' Evans, Australian former 'Labour'
foreign minister who in In 1991,

{quote}
…during a political storm over Indonesian military violence in East
Timor, in his capacity as Australia's foreign minister, Evans defended
the Indonesian military junta's actions by describing the Dili massacre
as 'an aberration, not an act of state policy'.

This was despite growing evidence (both within Australian intelligence
and the international media) of increasingly violent Indonesian military
efforts to protect and extend their business interests in East
Timor—interests that included coffee plantations, marble mines and large
oil contracts—by utilizing starvation, napalm, torture and death
camps…Oil contracts that Evans himself had co-signed with the Indonesian
military junta that enabled Australian companies to share with the
Suharto family in what would later be established as clearly East
Timor's oil.

This connection was highlighted during an extensively publicised video
recorded in a private jet over the Timor Sea. Senator Evans, replete
with champagne…offered an astonishingly naive toast, characterising the
Timor Sea oil contract as "… uniquely unique"…. Later, in a coincidental
occurrence, when carriers of a secretly-filmed video exposing the Dili
massacre [in E. Timor] arrived in Australia, they were inexplicably
strip-searched by customs officials.[citation needed] Fortunately, they
had passed the massacre footage on to another carrier on the same
flight, who brought it through customs unhindered…. Evans' diplomatic
failures regarding East Timor were directly linked to his failures to
procure senior positions in the United Nations, including his ill-fated
attempt to become the Secretary-General.
{endquote} — Wikipedia [my emph. WB]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Evans_%28politician%29>

Evidently as far as 'Biggles' Evans was concerned the R2P didn't extend
to the East Timorese people, any more than it currently does to the
Syrian or Palestinian people. Clearly the R2P doctrine is very
selectively applied and applied by people and governments who are, by
their own definition, themselves war criminals.

It's all in the name

Later, in 2004 Right to Intervene was 'refined' somewhat, as
'Responsibility to Protect' which sounds so much more benevolent than
the 'right to intervene' with all of its colonial/imperial connotations
and history, especially in the Middle East. And what 'civilised' person
would not agree with such a 'civilising' mission, crusade even, to
protect the weak and defenceless from an evil "Medieval" state?

{quote}
…There is a growing recognition that the issue is not the "right to
intervene" of any State, but the "responsibility to protect" of every
State when it comes to people suffering from avoidable catastrophe –
mass murder and rape, ethnic cleansing by forcible expulsion and terror,
and deliberate starvation and exposure to disease. And there is a
growing acceptance that while sovereign Governments have the primary
responsibility to protect their own citizens from such catastrophes,
when they are unable or unwilling to do so that responsibility should be
taken up by the wider international community – with it spanning a
continuum involving prevention, response to violence, if necessary, and
rebuilding shattered societies.

We endorse the emerging norm that there is a collective international
responsibility to protect, exercisable by the Security Council
authorizing military intervention as a last resort, in the event of
genocide and other large scale killing, ethnic cleansing or serious
violations of international humanitarian law which sovereign Governments
have proved powerless or unwilling to prevent.
{endquote} (Report: A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility,
paras 201 and 203) [my emph. WB] (ibid)
<http://www.gevans.org/speeches/speech114.html>

A "growing recognition" indeed. Tell that to the people of Afghanistan,
Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, to mention just a few of the
countries, all of whom could have done with a good dose of the Right to
Protect Themselves which is precisely what the Syrian government is doing.

The other disingenuous comment is the "[w]e endorse the emerging norm".
But this 'norm' emerged from nowhere other than the people and
institutions that dreamt up R2P in the first place. And they can say
this precisely because instead of 'intervening' it was 'protecting'.
However, there is a caveat as far as the Western public is concerned as
the USUKNATO destruction of Libya demonstrates. In the UK, the majority
were opposed to UK 'boots on the ground'. Boots in the air was okay
though.

MacShane's 'Tsunami of Hatred'

Another Labour Party MP, this time in the UK has picked up the R2P
cudgel that 'Biggles' dropped, a cudgel to beat, very selectively, those
who do not respect R2P. His name is Denis MacShane, who by the way is a
member of the UK Parliament's Labour Friends of Israel club and a
staunch advocate of R2P. I only mention this because the R2P doctrine as
expressed above would seem to fit the Palestinian people exactly:

"…the "responsibility to protect" of every State when it comes to people
suffering from avoidable catastrophe – mass murder and rape, ethnic
cleansing by forcible expulsion and terror, and deliberate starvation
and exposure to disease."

But just as with 'Biggles' Evans, MacShane too speaks with forked tongue
as this short exchange amply demonstrates:

{quote}
A Labour MP is at the centre of a RACE ROW after appearing at the
Cambridge Union.

Dr Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham, ordered an Egyptian student to
"apologise for all Jews killed by Hamas."

MacShane was participating in a debate on the Middle East last Thursday
(October 29th) when he came out with the SCANDALOUS SLUR.

The student, Ossama el Batran, a post-grad at Darwin College, made a
point of information from the floor requesting the sympathy on behalf of
the Palestinian humanitarian plight, which prompted the comments.

Pro-Israeli MacShane was putting to the floor whether a "Jew's life is
worth anything", when el Batran spoke.

El Batran said, "What about an Arab's life?" At this point MacShane
walked towards el Batran, pointing aggressively at him, saying "your
Arab life is worth as much as a Jew's life and until you denounce the
killing of Jews…This is the Cambridge Union. You are not a Hamas
representative." — 'Denis MacShane defines racism', Jews sans Frontieres
4 November 2009
{endquote}

Obviously it's a case of 'do as I say, don't do as I do'. This is how
'Labour' politician (and Israel firster) MacShane described the BDS
movement across Europe:

{quote}
"The call to boycott Jewish commerce is Europe's oldest political appeal.

Kauft nicht bei Juden – "Don't buy from Jews" – is back. The call to
boycott Jewish commerce is Europe's oldest political appeal. Once again,
as the tsunami of hate against Israel rolls out from the Right and the
Left, from Islamist ideologues to Europe's cultural elites, the demand
is to punish the Jews." — ''Kauft nicht bei Juden' will worsen the
conflict' By Denis MacShane, Ruthfully Yours
{endquote}
<http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2010/11/30/denis-macshaneformer-uk-m-p-denounces-boycott-agains-israel-kauft-nicht-bei-juden/>

Note how Jew and Israel in MacShane's universe are totally
interchangeable. It's not Jewish commerce but Israeli commerce that is
being boycotted (nobody is saying that we should boycott your local
Kosher deli), much of it originating from the illegally Occupied
Territories. And BDS is not boycotting Jews but Israel. I'm Jewish but
not Israeli and indeed I cherish the day the imperialist, Zionist
project is no more and the land gets handed back to its rightful owners,
the Palestinian people. "Tsunami of hatred against Israel"? But judging
by MacShane's venom directed against an Arab, it would seem he has his
own personal 'Tsunami of hatred'. And these are the people who urge us
to invade, invade, invade all in the name of the Responsibility to
Protect. Has the world gone totally mad? Apparently so as it's
sociopaths who run the place.

Thus you have to ask yourself what kind of R2P does MacShane and his
kind have in mind for the Palestinian people which in turn leads me to
ask, what kind of R2P did MacShane and his gangster accomplices have in
mind when they destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now want to
inflict the same kind of 'protection' on Syria?

Whether we like it or not, the issue is not the Assad regime no matter
what we think of it, but of course this is entirely the point of the
massive propaganda campaign that has been unleashed on the Western
public. As long as we are led to focus on a "medieval" Syria and its
brutal Assad dynasty as our glorious leader David Cameron asserts, the
motives behind a rapacious imperial power's real objectives in the world
will forever remain hidden behind a facade of protecting with one hand
and blowing people away with the other.

Note

1. The ups and downs of Syrian Communist Party's relationship with the
Syrian state are convoluted and contradictory, one minute up and the
next down, and generally reflect the ups and downs of the Cold War and
of course Israel's role in everything Middle Eastern. There's a decent
potted history of the SCP (and its various flavours) on Wikipedia

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