The trial of Elor Azaria for killing Abdel Fattah al-Sharif (the murder charge brought by the army then reduced to manslaughter after popular protest) again shows the gulf between IDF officers and the right wing of Israeli politics.
The USA has been the guarantor, not of Israel’s existence which is not under serious threat, but of its military supremacy in the region. This support has been bipartisan with Christian evangelicals the most fervent. Now the Pew Research Center has found an increasing number of young people are open to the Palestinian demand for recognition of their human and political rights.
There is a short report by Ma’an on the US 2015 country report on human rights in Israel and the oPt. Then the report – over 22,000 words which do not include checkpoints, barrier, wall, occupation and settlements except for their illegal boycott. And not a word on the current state of deprivation and destruction in Gaza. It is strong on Israel’s lack of accountability for security actions.
It is highly unusual for Israel to be the subject of a debate in an election let alone a primary contest. But here comes Sanders raising the question of why Clinton did not mention Palestine at AIPAC – or anywhere. Queen Hillary said she was occupied with her official job of bringing peace and keeping Israel secure.
The policy of the EU to distinguish between products from Israel-proper and products from the Palestinian territories is chugging its inexorable way through all EU bodies . Here is the resolution passed by the Foreign Affairs Council on January 18th defining policy towards Israel/Palestine. It includes a clause on the need for Israel to distinguish between its own and illegal-settlement produce – and for both sides to be serious about 2-states.
The current bloodshed in Palestine-Israel is peculiarly personal, usually initiated by a single young Palestinian who is immediately shot dead by anonymous Israeli armed forces. Here are the latest lists from PCHR and the Jewish Virtual Library. By December 22nd, the names of 19 Israeli and 121 Palestinian people who had been stabbed/shot had been recorded.
The Jordan branch of the UN’s Human Rights Commission has ended all links with G4S the British-Dutch security firm which has contracts for transporting and guarding Palestinian prisoners in Israel. An earlier complaint by Lawyers for Palestinian Human RIghts, that G4S was denying prisoners their rights, was rejected but the NCP (the government body responsible for contract companies) found that G4S used companies that did abuse human rights.
Israel and Palestine, including Gaza, seem to be frozen in stasis, doomed, if they move, to begin another round of political and military conflict. Many outside agencies have tried to mediate. Kerry blamed Israel obduracy, others blame Hamas. Here the ICG addresses the main actors with proposals on what each can do to move out of the conflict zone. Giving Hamas more control over its income and recognition of Palestine as a state by all EU cpountries would help .
The table and text here from the Water Research Institute are not directly about Israel and Palestine. The WRI ranks countries by degrees of water scarcity. The oPt are in the first rank, Israel comes in at no.8. Most of the top 20 are in the Middle East. Lack of water does not create the current conflicts say the authors but it does exacerbate them and this is going to get worse as water shortages get more severe.
President Abbas sits in his palace moving his knights around – and ejecting them from his web of intrigue. His most recent move was to close down the Palestinian Peace Coalition – the Palestinian side of the Geneva Initiative – to skewer its head, Yasser Abed Rabbo, former secretary-general of the PLO.
All responses to the ratification of the Gaza 2014 report were predictable and had little to do with evidence-based judgments. The US was the only member of the UN’s HRC to vote against accepting the widely-acclaimed report of a UN Commission of Inquiry into the attack on Gaza in 2014. The UK voted to accept it despite qualms that it did not defend Israel’s right to defend itself. Netanyahu said the decision had nothing to do with human rights, the HRC was always picking on Israel, the front line of the fight against ‘terror’ and it might leave the organisation.
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