Saturday, 9 August 2014

150 + International Legal Experts: Israel Has Committed War Crimes … Should be Referred to the International Criminal Court

The United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all say that Israel has committed war crimes by targeting civilians.
Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians is also a war crime.
Over 150 international legal experts – including two Former UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights situation in Palestine – have also signed a declaration stating:
  • Israel has targeted civilians
  • Israel has inflicted collective punishment on the Palestinians
  • These are war crimes
  • The matter should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Indeed,  a French lawyer filed a complaint with the ICC on July 25, 2014 on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister.  The complaint alleges that Israel committed war crimes – citing Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing military operations there.
Numerous prominent British legal experts have also requested that the ICC investigate Israeli war crimes in Gaza, stating:
Reports produced by non-governmental organisations following preliminary investigations strongly suggest that crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court have been and are being committed. Supporting information is appended to this letter. Additional information, including from “States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental or non- governmental organizations [and] other reliable sources” (article 15(2)) is readily and widely available. Eye witness accounts have been documented, and “written or oral testimony” can be provided by victims and others (article 15(2)). There can be no doubt as to the “seriousness  of the information” available (article 15(2)).
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has called for “accountability and  justice”. That call has been echoed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who has underscored the need for “real accountability considering the increasing evidence of war crimes”.
***
All the requirements for the initiation of an investigation pursuant to article 15 are clearly made out. The “information available to the prosecutor provides”, at the very least, “a  reasonable basis to believe that… crime[s] within the jurisdiction of the Court ha[ve] been or [are] being committed” (article 53(1)(a)).
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is worried … as shown by the fact that he has asked the U.S. for help in avoiding war crime charges.
Postscript: The ICC has said that it does not have jurisdiction over Israeli war crimes in Gaza, because the Palestinians have not yet accepted the ICC’s jurisdiction (perhaps because they are worried that Hamas has also committed war crimes).  However, Palestinian leaders now appear ready to submit to ICC jurisdiction.
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Netanyahu: Washington should stay out of the Iraqi conflict – and let Daash break-up Iraq.


Mr. Habib al-TarafiMr. Habib al-Tarafi, an MP from the National Coalition block in an interview with foreign journalist in Iraqi capital, Baghdad described ISIS fighters as a bevy of thugs and mercenaries who has nothing to do with Islam peaceful teachings and they are assigned to tarnish Islam’s reputation.
al-Tarafi added : in a time where innocent Palestinian citizens re under the most brutal attacks and when Gaza is being pounded by air, sea and land every day , ISIS coward leaders are busy to shed Muslim’s blood in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
He also continued by saying ISIS attitude clearly show the intrinsic nature of this satanic group.
Recently, Netanyahu in his first comment on ISIS victories in Iraq, said that Washington should stay out of the Iraqi conflict – and let the Sunni militants defeat the Shia-dominated government of prime minister al-Maliki and break-up Iraq. “This will weaken Iranian influence in the Arab region,” said Netanyahu during his address at Tel Aviv University’s INSS think-tank.
Meanwhile Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday told US Secretary of State John Kerry that he believes “the creation of an independent Kurdish state is a foregone conclusion,” citing Iraq’s “breaking up.” Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres told US President Barack Obama that “the Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic.”
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US Strikes IS Targets in Iraq with Drones, Jets
Local Editor

US Strikes ISILUS forces launched a second wave of air strikes against the Islamic State extremists near Arbil in northern Iraq on Friday, destroying a militant convoy and killing a mortar team, the Pentagon said.

Shortly after 1400 GMT, US drones destroyed a mortar position and killed a group of militants. Just over an hour later four F/A-18 jets hit a seven-vehicle Islamic State convoy with eight laser-guided bombs.

"The US military continued to attack ISIL targets near Arbil today conducting two additional air strikes to help defend the city where US personnel are assisting the government of Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he had authorized US air strikes to prevent fighters from the so-called Islamic State from attacking the capital of the Iraqi Kurdish region.

The strikes are also designed to break the siege of Mount Sinjar, where IS forces have cornered and reportedly threatened to kill thousands of civilian refugees from the Yazidi religious minority.

Overnight, a first strike saw an F/A-18 hit an IS artillery position with a 500lb bomb. Shortly beforehand US military planes had dropped food and water to the beleaguered Yazidis.

Friday's second wave saw unmanned drones brought into action.

"Remotely piloted aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position. When ISIL fighters returned to the site moments later, the terrorists were attacked again and successfully eliminated," Kirby said.

"At approximately 11:20 a.m. EDT, four F/A-18 aircraft successfully struck a stationary ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position near Arbil," his statement continued.

"The aircraft executed two planned passes. On both runs, each aircraft dropped one laser guided bomb making a total of eight bombs dropped on target neutralizing the mortar and convoy."

Source: AFP
08-08-2014 - 16:37 Last updated 08-08-2014 - 23:55

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Psychopathology of the Zionist Mind

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In explaining the Israeli compulsion to pulverize (the Zionist element at least), whether into submission or into smithereens, the Palestinian people of Gaza, a moot point, one can combine Marx and Freud by way of explanation, as did Herbert Marcuse in Eros and Civilization, on a related problem: the instinctual realm of profound layers of darkness, in which consciousness of evil on the oppressors’ part must be obliterated (for Marcuse, the repression of Thanatos as it continues to do its ugly work), in Israel’s case, its destruction of the Palestinian memory (memory as historical awareness, legitimation of group-existence, including pride and sense of place, claims to survival and growth) through mounting the disproportionate use of force, a species of overkill, metaphorically, the Israeli military-psychological bulldozer.
Rather than the massive machinery for crushing homes, which in any case continues, it is intended to crush the human spirit—as already seen in the widespread devastation, rubble everywhere—now addressing the very IDENTITY of a whole people, physical genocide, as impersonally tabulated in the grim statistics of body counts, but in addition, mental genocide, the attack on a people’s self-knowledge, culture, achievements in letters, the arts, political thought.
I never imagined Israel’s campaign of mental genocide, a pervertedness which speaks to, and leaves no doubt about, premeditation in the commission of thorough destruction: shackles, torture, bombs, but this, rooting out the foundations of a people’s existence, all for the purpose of exercising domination over them and, by debasing and depersonalizing them, experience relief from the guilt of having done so—catharsis without knowing and feeling it because having structured the situation so as to treat the victim as nonexistent, a cipher, emphatically inferior, or all of the foregoing plus, for that reason, given license to dominate (and really, exterminate) without the slightest moral blemish. Therefore, when I speak of the dialectical interplay of memory and conscience, I have in mind relations of domination and submission, this, as a first approximation, yet from that point, the complication arises because it is the oppressed whose memory is being forcibly suppressed, while, as the condition for what follows, it is the oppressor whose conscience is numbed, frozen, perhaps repressed, though how repressed when the aggression toward others bespeaks a moral vacuum that even repression can’t touch? Psychopathology of the Israeli mind, the habituation to domination driving out all self-recrimination.
***
How do we know this? I was awakened to this dimension of genocide (even as once a historian, I was never attracted to the concept of “memory,” a seemingly voguish distraction from class, power, and exploitation) by Evan Jones’s recent CounterPunch article, “The Pariah State,” excellent in all respects, and to be read alongside Arno Mayer’s, From Ploughshares to Swords, near-definitive in critical aspects of Israel’s self-definition, march to statehood, and gathering militarism. But among Jones’s topics covered, drawing on writers, like the father of Yehudi and Hepzibah Menuhin (two musicians-plus-more I feel especially attracted to) whose works may be largely known only to specialists—an admission of my own weakness, there is a section, “The annihilation of identity,” truly significant in pressing the analysis of Israelis’ inner psychological logic of, and political-military disposition to, genocide. I invite the reader to study the article, the totality of his evidence in mind, to see how the onslaught on identity makes perfect sense in the physical-mental liquidation, as occurring thus far and for decades in Gaza, of the Palestinians.
Jones writes (citing Nur Masalha’s The Palestine Nakba, 2012), “Having denied the existence of a functioning Palestinian society before expropriation, Israel’s founders of necessity confronted its existence…. The myth of the non-existent Palestinian society had to be forged in reality.” Hence, ethnic cleansing, forcing Palestinians out (the NAKBA), leaving them without “social and political integration.” Then, of extreme importance complementing forced population displacement, “the physical space had to be furiously appropriated—the landscape destroyed, built over; everything re-named.” Hence too, “the cultural landscape: memory, history, identity and its artefacts.” Jones quotes Masalha on the campaign of the Israeli government, in 1948, to appropriate (i.e., steal/plunder) “’for itself immovable Palestinian assets and personal possessions, including schools, libraries, books, pictures, private papers, historical documents and manuscripts,’” to which he adds, “’several private collections and tens of thousands of books were looted by the Haganah and never returned.’” In 1958, “’the Israeli authorities destroyed 27,000 books, most of them Palestinian textbooks from the pre-1948 period, claiming that they were either useless or threatened the state. The authorities sold the books to a paper plant.’”
Obviously the extermination of memory, a process that, with widening acts of terrorism, intellectual and physical, has continued to this day. Jones writes in summary: “In short, the strategic and systematic annihilation of identity.” To which I would add, benefiting from his discussion, that although combining Marx and Freud may be problematic, the sexualization of domination may be seen in the thoroughness, cynicism, cult of impunity, attached to the wholesale confiscation of Palestinian accumulated learning and knowledge. The punitiveness of the assault, as though tearing apart the fabric of Palestinian life and culture, and the self-confidence with which it has been carried out, has an element of sadomasochism almost necessarily—here specifically the rape of the Palestinian mind, on condition the rapist becomes successfully devoid of conscience, examples of which can be seen in the troops in massive armored vehicles, thrilled by the power underfoot and oblivious to the damage they have wrought, then too, the Israelis cheering on hillsides as explosions light up the Gaza sky, or the whining about sacrifices in their Tel Aviv cafes, or further cheering in their living-rooms watching television, all of which devoid equally of consciousness, so rote-like the manufacture of killing fields.
The sexualization of domination was perhaps not important to Marx, domination per se, in its myriad pungent class forms–labor exploitation, to foreign policy imperialism and colonialism, to commodity tyranny and fetishism at the epistemological foundations of capitalist society, to culture and ideology emanating from the gross inequality of class-differentiation—being enough on his plate, but this aspect of domination cannot be overlooked when one considers the sadism at the core of domination, whether political-economic or taking more bizarre forms. Without his brilliant understanding of the relations of dominance and subordination, superiority and inferiority, there would be poorer psychological understanding of the correlates of domination, merely perversities standing alone, shorn of societal context. Freud was Marx’s natural ally in the crucial respect that even his psychoanalysis drew on his metapsychological theorizing, as in The Pleasure Principle or Moses and Monotheism, all-important context for fusing individual and societal repression. For me, a useful synthesis would be Adorno, et. al., The Authoritarian Personality (1950), an uncanny anticipation of the Israeli mindset and (I toss this in gratis) our ever more militaristic POTUS.
The act of eradication requires psychic energy. Depersonalizing Palestinians wipes—or seems to wipe—the psychological slate clean for the dominator/oppressor, who can feel nothing when the victim has been rendered faceless, anonymous, inanimate, on the order, drilled into the military forces and integral to the Chosen-People ethos as currently interpreted, of killing a two-dimensional cardboard figure. Yet, when the human identity of the victim breaks through, perhaps largely standing his/her ground and committing acts of resistance, then the dominator goes ballistics, and the sadistic urges/energies flow like water (or arsenic?)—the urge to ERADICATE, to silence or dissipate guilt. I return, as in my previous articles, to the psychological legacy of the Holocaust, which I take to be reaching to the darkest layers/levels of the Unconscious, and then transmitted to later generations, as the vortex of domination internalized as the practices of the oppressor. This takes on a perhaps Darwinian selective process because it works so well, i.e., an institutionalized form and expression by the State, here Israel and the IDF. The dead children entombed in rubble testify to the mightiness of the Israeli state.
Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu .

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US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity



Global Research, August 08, 2014
war-crime-israel-usa-alqudsBy sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the US Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza.
An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime against humanity [PDF] in the ‘International Criminal Court (ICC) if he or she “aids, abets or otherwise assists” in the commission or attempted commission of the crime, “including providing the means for its commission.”
There is growing evidence that Israeli leaders and commanders have committed the following war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as defined in the Rome Statute for the ICC. US military aid has aided, abetted and assisted the commission of these crimes by providing Israel with the military means to commit them.
During Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces again used the Dahiye Doctrine, which,according to the UN Human Rights Council [Goldstone] Report [PDF], involves “the application of disproportionate force and causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.”
A summary of Israeli leaders’ extensive crimes is presented below.
US military aid to Israel
According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2007, the Bush Administration agreed to provide Israel with $30 billion [PDF] in military assistance from 2009 to 2018, provided in annual increments of $3.1 billion. During his March 2013 visit to Israel, Obamapledged that the US would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid subject to the approval of Congress.
Since 2012, the US has sent $276 million worth of weapons and munitions to Israel, not including exports of military transport equipment and high technologies. From January to May 2014, the US transferred to Israel almost $27 million for rocket launchers, $9.3 million worth of parts of guided missiles and nearly $762,000 for bombs, grenades and munitions of war.
On July 20, 2014, Israel requested additional ammunition, including 140mm tank rounds and 40mm illumination grenades, and the Defense Department approved the sale three days later. It came from a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the US military stores in Israel for that country’s use; it is called War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel. In early August 2014, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed, and Obama signed, an appropriation of $225 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has also been used in Gaza. The Senate vote was unanimous. With no debate, the House of Representatives voted 395 to 8 to approve the deal.
Here is a summary of the crimes, as defined in the Rome Statute, Israeli leaders have committed and US leaders have aided and abetted:
War crimes
(1) Willful killing: Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians (more than 400 children and over 80% civilians). Israel used 155-millimeter artillery, which, according toHuman Rights Watch, is “utterly inappropriate in a densely populated area, because this kind of artillery is considered accurate if it lands anyplace within a 50-meter radius.”
(2) Willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health: Nearly 10,000 people, 2,500 of them children, have been wounded. Naban Abu Shaar told the Daily Beast that the dead bodies from what appeared to be a “mass execution” in Khuza’a looked like they were “melted” and were piled on top of each other; assault rifle bullet casings found in the house were marked “IMI” (Israel Military Industries). UNICEF said the Israeli offensive has had a “catastrophic and tragic impact” on children in Gaza; about 373,000 children have had traumatic experiences and need psychological help. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said: “There’s a public health catastrophe going on. You know, most of the medical facilities in Gaza are non-operational.”
(3) Unlawful and wanton, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity: Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lost their homes. More than 1,300 buildings were destroyed and 752 were severely damaged. Damage to sewer and water infrastructure has affected two-thirds of Gazans. On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town of Khuza’a; one man counted 360 shell attacks in one hour. Reconstruction of Gaza is estimated to cost $6 billion. Israel shrunk Gaza’s habitable land mass by 44 percent, establishing a 3 km “no-go” zone for Palestinians; 147 square miles of land will be compressed into 82 square miles. Oxfam described the level of destruction as “outrageous … much worse than anything we have seen in previous [Israeli] military operations.”
(4) Willfully depriving a prisoner of war or a civilian the rights of fair and regular trial: Nearly 2,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces during July 2014, accordingto the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies. Prisoners include 15 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, about 240 children, dozens of women, journalists, activists, academics and 62 former prisoners previously released in a prisoner exchange. Israeli forces executed many prisoners after arrest, either by directly firing on them, refusing to allow treatment or allowing them to bleed to death. More than 445 prisoners are being held without charge or trial under administrative detention.
(5) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, civilian objects, or humanitarian vehicles, installations and personnel: “The civilian population in the Gaza Strip is under direct attack,” reads a joint declaration of over 150 international law experts. Israeli forces violated the principle of “distinction,” which forbids deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects. Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), including six UN schools in which civilians were taking refuge. Israeli forces shot and killed fleeing civilians (warnings, which must effectively give civilians time to flee before bombing, do not relieve Israel from its legal obligations not to target civilians). Israeli forces repeatedly bombed Gaza’s only power plant and other infrastructure, which are “beyond repair.” Israeli forces bombed one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics and 29 ambulances. At least five medical staff were killed and tens of others were injured.
(6) Intentionally launching attacks with knowledge they will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or long-term severe damage to the natural environment, if they are clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage: The principle of “proportionality” forbids disproportionate and excessive civilian casualties compared to the claimed military advantage gained in the attack. The Dahiye Doctrine directly violates this principle. Responding to Hamas’ rockets with 155-millimeter artillery is disproportionate. Although nearly 2,000 Palestinians (over 80 percent civilians) have been killed, 67 Israelis (all but three of them soldiers) have been killed. The coordinates of all UN facilities were repeatedly communicatedto the Israeli forces; they nevertheless bombed them multiple times. Civilians were attacked in Shuja’iyyah market.
(7) Attacking or bombarding undefended towns, villages, dwellings or buildings, or intentionally attacking religious, educational and medical buildings, which are not military objectives: On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town of Khuza’a; one man counted360 shell attacks in one hour. Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics, and 29 ambulances. Israeli shelling completelydestroyed 41 mosques and partially destroyed 120 mosques.
Genocide
(a) With the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: Palestinians, including primarily civilians, and Palestinian infrastructure necessary to sustain life were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces.
(b) The commission of any of the following acts
(i) killing members of the group: Israeli forces killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians.
(ii) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: Israeli forceswounded10,000 Palestinians.
(iii) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part: Israeli forces devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, and destroying homes, schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.
Crimes against humanity
(A) The commission of murder as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population: Israeli forces relentlessly bombed Gaza for one month, killing nearly 2,000 Palestinians, more than 80 percent of whom were civilians. Israeli forces intentionally destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, anddestroying homes, schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.
(B) Persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national, ethnic or religious character, as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population: Israeli forces killed, wounded, summarily executed, and administratively detained Palestinians, Hamas forces and civilians alike. Israel forces intentionally destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, populated by Palestinians. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “the massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.” He added the repeated bombing of UN shelters facilities in Gaza was “outrageous, unacceptable and unjustifiable.”
(C) The crime of apartheid (inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another racial group, with the intent to maintain that regime): Ali Hayek, head of Gaza’s federation of industries representing 3,900 businesses that employ 35,000 people,said: “After 30 days of war, the economic situation has become, like, dead. It seems the occupation intentionally destroyed these vital factories that constitute the backbone of the society.” Israel maintains an illegal barrier wall that encroaches on Palestinian territory and builds illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. Israel keeps Gazans caged in what many call “the world’s largest open air prison.” Israel controls all ingress and egress to Gaza, limits Gazans’ access to medicine, subjects Palestinians to arbitrary arrest, expropriates their property, maintains separate areas and roads, segregated housing, different legal and educational systems for Palestinians and Jews and prevents mixed marriages. Only Jews, not Palestinians, have the right to return to Israel-Palestine.
Collective punishment
Although the Rome Statute does not include the crime of collective punishment, it is considered a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which constitutes a war crime. Collective punishment means punishing a civilian for an offense he or she has not personally committed; it forbids reprisals against civilians and their property (civilian objects).
Ostensibly to rout out Hamas fighters, Israel has wreaked unprecedented devastation on the people of Gaza, killing nearly 2,000 people (more than 80 percent of them civilians) and destroying much of the infrastructure of Gaza. This constitutes collective punishment.
On August 5, 2014, veteran Israeli military advisor Giora Eiland advocated collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population, saying: “In order to guarantee our interests versus the other side’s demands, we must avoid the artificial, wrong and dangerous distinction between the Hamas people, who are ‘the bad guys,’ and Gaza’s residents, which are allegedly ‘the good guys.’” That is precisely the strategy Israel has employed during Operation Protective Edge.
Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands also constitutes collective punishment. Israel maintains effective control over Gaza’s land, airspace, seaport, electricity, water, telecommunications and population registry. Israel deprives Gazans of food, medicine, fuel and basic services.
Prospects for criminal accountability
Both Israel and the US have refused to ratify the Rome Statute. But if Palestine were a party to the statute, the ICC could exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed by Israelis and Americans in Palestinian territory. The ICC could also take jurisdiction if the UN Security Council refers the matter to the ICC, or if the ICC prosecutor initiates an investigation of the crime. The US would veto any Security Council referral to the ICC. And the ICC prosecutor has not initiated an investigation. So the question is whether Palestine can ratify the statute, thereby becoming a party to the ICC.
In 2009, the Palestinian National Authority filed a declaration [PDF] with the ICC accepting the court’s jurisdiction. In 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly recognizedPalestine as a non-member observer state. During the present war, the Palestinian minister of justice and the deputy minister of justice both submitted documents to the ICC indicating that the 2009 declaration is still valid. On August 5, 2014, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs met with officials from the ICC and inquired about the procedures for Palestine to become a party to the statute.
On July 25, 2014, a French lawyer filed a complaint with the ICC on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister. Citing Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing military operations there, the complaint alleges that Israel committed war crimes and other crimes. The Palestinian government has not formally commented on this complaint.
On July 23, 2014, the UN Human Rights Council established a commission of inquiry into Israeli violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law. The resolution also called on parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene and respond to the alleged violations. That convention requires parties to prosecute violators. Countries can bring foreign nationals to justice for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity under the well-established doctrine of universal jurisdiction. Genocide charges could also be brought under the Genocide Convention, to which both Israel and the United States are parties. That convention also punishes complicity in genocide; US leaders’ provision of military aid would constitute complicity.
Although the Israeli and US governments continue to maintain that Israel has only acted in self-defense against Hamas’ terrorism, the weight of world opinion points in the opposite direction. There is overwhelming opposition to Israeli aggression in Gaza and calls for justice and accountability.
Both Israeli and US leaders must be criminally prosecuted for committing and aiding and abetting these crimes.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her next book, “Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues,” will be published in September.
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Zionist-puppet Jordanian Regime allowed Syria war refugees to country except Palestinian ones


Date and Time:9 August 2014

140808-yarmoukEven though they are fleeing the same violence, zionist-puppet Jordanian regime is discriminating in its treatment of people escaping the Syria war depending on their nationality.

A report by Human Rights Watch released this week finds that Jordan’s practices of refusing entry and forcibly deporting Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria constitutes a “clear breach of its international obligations.”

This is in contrast to its treatment of Syrian nationals, “upon whom Jordan has not placed any formal entry restrictions,” according to the report, titled “Not Welcome: Jordan’s Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria.”

More than half a million Syrians have fled to Jordan since the beginning of the crisis in 2011.

There were approximately 520,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria before the outbreak of the violence, “some living in refugee camps and others in Syrian towns and cities, where they enjoyed many of the same rights as Syrian citizens, including access to government services,” Human Rights Watch observes.

Most Palestinians in Syria are refugees from the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine and their descendants. Israel refuses to respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land and property.
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Emile Lahoud: Ersal

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Why Have So Many Ukrainians Fled to Russia? It doesn’t do much for USA’s propaganda




Journalist Vladislav Gulevich says that many of the 730,000 Ukrainian refugees in Russia see the Ukrainian military as the main threat to their lives
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What do wars in Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and Libya have in common ?

For Mexican geopolitical expert, Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, the simultaneity of the events illuminates their meaning: soon after announcing the creation of an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, that is to say the dollar, Russia is having to face at the same time the accusation of having downed the Malaysia Airlines jet, the Israeli attack on Gaza backed by US and UK military intelligence, the chaos in Libya and the Islamic State offensive in the Levant. In addition, in each of these war theaters, the fighting revolves around the control of hydrocarbons, which until now were traded exclusively in dollars.

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The best-selling video game worldwide "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" pits the United States against Russia in a war for oil scenario.

Calendars, flow charts, diagrams and genealogical indexes are most useful for making a geopolitical analysis. Thus, two days before a mysterious missile blew the Malaysia Airlines plane out of the sky – an event as obscure as the circumstances surrounding both its recent flights – the sixth summit of the BRICS including a number of UNASUR member countries, such as Colombia and Peru, had ended successfully. [1]

One day before the deadly missile strike, Obama had heightened pressure on Russia and its two inextricable assets : banks and energy resources. "Pure coincidence", the day the mysterious missile was fired in Ukraine, "Netanyahu, at the helm of a state with a nuclear arsenal, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip", as Fidel Castro rightly pointed out when denouncing the coup government in Kiev which he accused of having carried out a "new form of provocation" under United States sponsorship. [2]
What could this old spoilsport of the Caribbean possibly know about this case?

As the mysterious missile was shredding the Malaysia Airlines flight, Israel, a racist and segregationist state, invaded the Gaza Strip, in violation of UN resolutions and "antagonized the international public opinion", as stated by former President Bill Clinton. [3]

Concurrently with the "coincidence" (dixit Castro) relating to the geopolitical objectives in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, clashes of a confessional nature involving the control of energy resources took center stage in the three Arab countries classified as "failed states" by U.S. strategists : Libya, Syria and Iraq, not to mention the wars in Yemen and Somalia.

In Libya, a balkanized and decimated state as a result of the "humanitarian" intervention led by Britain and France under the hypocritical oversight of the United States, just two days prior to the mysterious missile shooting in Ukraine rebel Zintan brigades barred all access to Tripoli (the capital) International Airport, while clashes escalated between rival clans in Benghazi from where jihadists in Syria and Iraq were provided with weapons and where the U.S. ambassador in Libya was murdered under bizarre circumstances.

Beyond the tie-in of weapon flows into Libya, Syria and Iraq within the region controlled by Al Qaeda/Al-Nusra and the new Islamic State (Daesh) [4], the crucial issue for the US, British and French oil and gas corporations is to secure control of the raw materials (gas and fresh water) belonging to Libya, where Russia and China naively walked into a trap [5].

As for the appropriation of Iraqi oil by the US/UK imperialist duo, which also led to the balkanization and destruction of Iraq, plunging the country into a "30-year war", it would be futile and lethally boring to have to go over the well-known evidence again.

During my recent visit to Damascus, where I was interviewed by Thierry Meyssan, president of Voltaire Network, he told me that the sudden volte-face of "the West (whatever is intended by that)" against Bashar al-Assad is due in large part - in addition to the gas fields located along the Mediterranean coast – to the profusion of oil deposits which lie inside Syria, deposits that are now controlled by the "New 21st century Caliphate (Daesh)."

The interdependence between oil and gas is back in the spotlight in Gaza five years after the "Cast Lead" operation, whose strategy is being pursued by Operation "Protective Edge" (sic), without an investigation to conclusively establish who was responsible for the horrific murder of three young Israelis – which had been prophetically announced by Tamir Pardo, the "visionary" chief of Mossad [6] - and served as a pretext for yet another Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip which has claimed the lives of a several hundred children.

According to the geographer Manlio Dinucci, writing in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto [7], the abundance of gas reserves located in the coastal waters of Gaza is one of the reasons for the Israeli intransigence.

Similarly, the substantial shale gas reserves deeply buried in the Autonomous Republic of Donetsk, which seeks to separate from or federate with Ukraine, is the source of the fierce psychological war between pro-EU and pro-Russian media to pin the responsibility on the other side for the explosion of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Could it not be a false-flag operation contrived by the Ukrainian government to incriminate the separatists using "recordings" that may very well have been doctored in order to accuse them of "terrorism" and thus obliterate them?

Two months ago the news channel Russia Today (RT) - which is increasingly viewed in Latin America to counter the disinformation spewed by the Israeli-Anglo-American controlled media and which was held up to public obloquy by Secretary of State John Kerry – had already stressed the importance of shale gas in the region of Donetsk (the region in eastern Ukraine which seeks to gain independence) and wondered whether "the interests of Western oil companies may not be behind the violence" [8].

Indeed, the eastern part of Ukraine, currently engulfed in a civil war, is full "of coal and a myriad of shale gas deposits in the Dnieper-Donets Basin." In February 2013, British Shell Oil signed with the Ukrainian government (the previous one, which was overthrown by a neo-Nazi coup backed by the EU) a 50-year agreement to share the profits emanating from the exploration and extraction of shale gas in the Donetsk region. [9]
According to RT, "the profits that Kiev does not want to miss out on" are such as to prompt the Ukrainian government to unleash a "military campaign [disproportionate] against its own people."
Last year, Chevron signed a similar agreement (with the same government filed) for 10 billion dollars worth.

Hunter Biden, son of the U.S. Vice President, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Burisma, the largest private gas producer (supersic) in Ukraine [10], which "opens a new perspective for the exploitation of Ukrainian shale gas" to the extent that "it holds the license covering the Dnieper-Donets basin." John Kerry will not be left out in regard to the distribution of profits and Devon Archer, his former adviser and step-son’s college roommate, joined the controversial company in April.

Can an "alienation of property" license to exploit shale gas in Ukraine also serve as a "license to kill" innocent people?

Is hydraulic fracturing in the process of fracturing Ukraine? This has been a permanent feature of the tragic history of hydrocarbons exploitation by "Western" oil companies throughout the twentieth century.

There is no doubt that hydrocarbons are the common denominator of the wars in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

[1] “6th BRICS Summit: the seeds of a new financial architecture”, by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, Voltaire Network, 3 July 2014. “Sixth BRICS Summit: Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan”, Voltaire Network, 16 July 2014. «Momento BRICS en Fortaleza», par Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, 17 juillet 2014.
[2] «Fidel Castro: El derribo de avión malasio es una "provocación insólita" de Ucrania», Russia Today, 17 July 2014.
[3] AFP, 17/07/14.
[4] «¿Yihad global contra los BRICS?», por Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, La Jornada (México), Red Voltaire , 18 de julio de 2014.
[5] «El botín del saqueo en Libia: "fondos soberanos de riqueza", divisas, hidrocarburos, oro y agua», by Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, La Jornada, 28 August 2011.
[6] „Mossad-Chef sagte Entführung der Jugendlichen voraus“, von Gerhard Wisnewski, Voltaire Netzwerk, 8. Juli 2014.
[7] “Gaza, il gas nel mirino”, di Manlio Dinucci, Il Manifesto (Italia), Rete Voltaire, 17 luglio 2014.
[8] «Shale gas and politics: Are Western energy giants’ interests behind Ukraine violence?», Russia Today, 17 May 2014.
[9] « L’Ukraine brade son secteur énergétique aux Occidentaux », par Ivan Lizan, Traduction Louis-Benoît Greffe, Однако (Russie), Réseau Voltaire, 2 mars 2013.
[10] “In Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son mixes business with pleasure”, Voltaire Network, 15 May 2014.
 Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

Alfredo Jalife-Rahme
Social and political sciences Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His columns on international politics feature regularly in the Mexican daily La Jornadaand weekly magazineContralínea. His latest book is El Híbrido Mundo Multipolar : un Enfoque Multidimensional (Orfila, 2010).


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