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UN war crimes in Gaza Report: Balderdash!

Posted by terres on September 16, 2009

submitted by a reader

Ethnic cleansing in Gaza, NOT war

To call the ongoing genocide in Gaza ‘war Crimes,’ serves to hide the truth about ethnic cleansing and lend legitimacy to Israeli atrocities

When UN calls the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Gaza ‘war crimes,’ it subliminally establishes the falsity that what happened in Gaza was a “war” [sic.]

The audiences are left to conclude naturally [sic] that awful things can and do occur in wars. Further, it treats the Israeli military operations between December 27 and January 18, 2009 as one isolated incident, a make-believe that Israel committed no other atrocities, before or after the Gaza ‘war.’

Don’t let the UN report and its author fool you, despite its strong language! The Gaza massacre wasn’t just an isolated ‘war’; it was another shameful chapter in Israel’s ongoing genocide of Palestinians.

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Israel inflicted “wanton destruction”

Posted by terres on July 2, 2009

Perhaps “Slow Genocide” would have been a more appropriate term!

The following is a Reuters’ report concerning the latest Amnesty finding on some of Israeli crimes that are being committed in Gaza. Unfortunately, the report makes no mention of the atrocities committed by Israel before or after their 22-day bombardment of Gaza. Meanwhile, the slow genocide in Gaza continues …


A woman and a child made homeless after the destruction of their home, Gaza, January 2009 – © Amnesty International


The Abu ‘Aisha family home in Gaza City, bombed, 5 January 2009. ‘Amer Abu ‘Aisha, wife Naheel and three of four children died – © Amnesty International

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Amnesty says Israel “wantonly” destroyed Gaza

Thu Jul 2, 2009 5:58am EDT

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE56118I20090702

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Amnesty International said on Thursday Israel inflicted “wanton destruction” in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave.

The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticized the Islamist movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called “war crimes.”

Among other conclusions, Amnesty said it found no evidence to support Israeli claims that Gaza guerrillas deliberately used civilians as “human shields,” but it did, however, cite evidence that Israeli troops put children and other civilians in harm’s way by forcing them to remain in homes taken over by soldiers.

Amnesty International said some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, including 300 children and hundreds of innocent civilians, a figure broadly in line with those from the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza and the independent Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The Israeli military put the Palestinian death toll at 1,166 of whom 295 were civilians. Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians, during the offensive Israel launched with the declared aim of curtailing cross-border rocket attacks.

Accusing Israel of “breaching laws of war,” Amnesty said: “Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity.”

Commenting on Amnesty’s allegations, the Israeli military said it operated in accordance with international law. It said the report ignored “efforts made by the Israel Defense Forces to minimize, as much as possible, harm to non-combatants.”

“In many cases, the Israel Defense Forces exercised measures of caution, including warning the civilian population before an attack,” the military said. “The Israel Defense Forces directed its attack only against military targets.”

A Hamas spokesman said the Amnesty report did not place enough emphasis on “crimes committed by Israel.”

“This report equates between the aggressor and the victim and ignores international laws that guarantee resistance against occupation,” the spokesman said.

U.N. INQUIRY

Israel and Hamas have both rejected accusations of war crimes during the Gaza fighting. Israel has refused to cooperate with a United Nations inquiry that is now gathering evidence, accusing the investigators of prejudice against it.

Amnesty said although rockets fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip rarely cause casualties, their use was “indiscriminate and hence unlawful under international law.” The rockets often sow fear and panic.

It also accused Hamas and other armed groups of endangering the lives of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza by firing rockets and locating military equipment near homes.

The report however dismissed Israeli claims that Hamas had used Palestinian civilians as “human shields.”

Amnesty said it found no evidence that “Hamas or other armed groups forced residents to stay in or around buildings used by fighters, or that fighters prevented residents from leaving buildings or areas which had been commandeered by militants.”

But the report said in several cases Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians, including children, as “human shields, endangering their lives by forcing them to remain in or near houses which they took over and used as military positions.”

(Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Dominic Evans)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Posted in crimes against humanity, Gaza Strip, human shields, Israel's Operation Cast Lead, Occupied Palestine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whatever happened to free speech?

Posted by terres on April 21, 2009

… or Freedom of Artistic Expression?


Source: cartoonbox.slate.com. Image may be subject to copyright.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Jewish “human rights group” has denounced Pat Oliphant’s latest political cartoon as anti-Semitic, comparing it to Nazi imagery of the 1930s that led up to the Holocaust.

The syndicated cartoon published Wednesday in newspapers across the country depicts a goose-stepping uniformed figure wheeling a fanged Star of David that menaces a small female figure labeled “Gaza.”

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group with more than 400,000 members in the United States, said the cartoon is meant to denigrate and demonize Israel.

“The imagery in this cartoon mimics the venomous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazi and Soviet eras,” Wiesenthal Center officials said in a statement. “It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide.”

The center called on the New York Times and other online outlets to remove the cartoon from their Web sites.

Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Oliphant’s cartoons, did not immediately return messages left late Wednesday night.

A New York Times spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a phone or e-mail message left after office hours.

Oliphant, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967, is one of the most widely syndicated editorial cartoonists in the world, receiving a mix of praise and criticism for his work through the years.

His latest cartoon alludes to Israel’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, where its troops launched an offensive in December to halt rocket fire and weaken the territory’s Hamas rulers.

More than 1,400 Palestinians, including more than 900 civilians, were killed, according to a Palestinian human rights group [and subsequently confirmed by various international agencies.]

Oliphant’s cartoon is his latest to draw backlash.

In 2001 and 2007, the Asian American Journalists Association objected to what they called offensive racial caricatures in cartoons about trade with China and concerns about international food safety.

In 2005, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee criticized one of his cartoons because it drew on false stereotypes and reinforces negative views of Arabs.

A native of Australia, Oliphant came to the U.S. in 1964 to work for The Denver Post.

His work has been syndicated internationally since 1965, and by Universal since 1980.

His work is on permanent display at the Library of Congress.

On its Web site, Universal declares that “no one is safe from the acid brush of Pat Oliphant.”

Oliphant’s latest work is the second editorial cartoon in as many months to provoke anger. Last month, New York Post Chairman Rupert Murdoch apologized for a cartoon in his paper that critics said likened a violent chimpanzee shot dead by police to President Barack Obama.
Copyright AP.

Posted in China import, food safety, Israeli aggression, Occupied Palestine, Simon Wiesenthal Center | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gaza Holocaust Continues …

Posted by terres on March 16, 2009

submitted by a reader

Israel is committing  genocide with impunity


Members of the Palestinian Nabhan family live in the remains of their house in eastern Jabalya refugee camp March 14, 2009. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis. Image may be subject to copyright.

A group of leading judges and international prosecutors today called  for a “prompt, independent and impartial” investigation into alleged war crimes that are being committed by Israel  in Gaza since Dec. 27, 2008.

The 16 signatories, led by Richard Goldstone, a former chief prosecutor for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  submitted a letter to the secretary general of the United Nations demanding an investigation, Reuters reported.

“Allegations of serious violations of the laws of war have emerged throughout the latest Gaza conflict, relating to conduct and actions by both the Israeli military and by the Palestinian armed groups,” the letter said.

“Without setting the record straight in a credible and impartial manner, it will be difficult for those communities that have borne the heavy cost of violence to move beyond the terrible aftermath of conflict.

“A prompt, independent and impartial investigation would provide a public record of gross violations of international humanitarian law committed and provide recommendations on how those responsible for crimes should be held to account.”

A Palestinian human rights group said last week reported that 1,434 Gazans were killed during the conflict, including 960 civilians, 239 police officers and 235 fighters. Among the civilians were 288 children and 121 women. Reuters said

Israeli military spokesman said the army had “made every effort to minimise harm to the civilian population”. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the Gaza massacre, mostly by friendly fire, 3 people were allegedly hit by rockets fired from Gaza.

The authors of the letter said they were  “shocked to the core” by the Gaza episode adding that an independent investigation was necessary in compliance with the Geneva Conventions rules concerning conflict.

“The world must vigilantly demand respect for these standards and investigate and condemn their violations,” said the letter,  which was published by Amnesty International.

“It said the commission of enquiry should be established by the United Nations, but not be limited to investigating attacks on U.N. facilities and have the ‘greatest possible’ expertise.” Reuters reported.

The following Editorial was published by the Guardian UK on March 3, 2009

Failed siege

Pledging aid for Gaza is the easy bit. Getting it delivered to Gazans living in tents after Israel’s three-week bombardment is another matter. The $3bn that donors promised in Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday will have to penetrate a labyrinth of barriers and conditions, the complexity of which King Minos of Crete would have been proud. The money will be given to the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, even though the PA’s writ does not run in Gaza. The aid will pass through crossings currently closed by Israel. It will be distributed in such a manner as to avoid ending up in the hands of its governors. But how? This is like trying to spoon a thin gruel into a dying man, without letting it touch any part of his throat.

Forget the difficulty of getting macaroni or paper into Gaza, neither of which fell into Israel’s definition of humanitarian aid. How can the 14,000 homes, 219 factories, 240 schools, which Israel destroyed, or damaged, be repaired without cement? Cement, Israel argues, has a dual use. It can be used to build Hamas’s bunkers and tunnels, although the dual use of macaroni and paper is harder to fathom. But why repair Gaza’s infrastructure, if Israeli warplanes could return at any moment to destroy it again? Operation Cast Lead did not re-establish Israeli deterrence over Hamas and Gaza’s other rejectionist groups. About 120 rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel since the army withdrew. Which means, short of re-occupation and putting the leadership of Hamas on a boat to Tripoli, the only way to stop the rockets is political, not military.

There was scant recognition of that yesterday. In her first sally into the region as US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton had strong words for Hamas. She said it was time “to cut the strings pulled by those who exploit the sufferings of innocent people”. Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which the Quartet supported, is now universally acknowledged to have failed. It has not dislodged Hamas from Gaza. Tony Blair admitted as much on his first visit to the enclave. But no one, as yet, is prepared to contemplate a way around the conditions which Israel and the Quartet attached to ending Hamas’s isolation.

Hamas is not going to recognise Israel. If it did, another and more extreme group would take up the cudgels. But it is equally clear to everyone that Hamas will have to be included in a national unity government for peace to succeed. The only scant chance lies in the reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas, two groups who currently hate each more than they do their occupiers. Without a fundamental rethink about how to engage Hamas politically, the international community is willing the end while continuing to deny the means. (copyright the author or newspaper).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/03/gaza-israel-aid-hamas-cement

Posted in Gaza massacre, Geneva Conventions, Jabalya refugee camp, Occupied Palestine, United Nations | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »