The Israeli claim that it is a democratic state based on law is shown to be laughable in a new report and film from Adalah on the forced displacement of Palestinians. When the Israeli government or the IDF or the Jewish National Fund or settlers want land where Palestinians live, they almost invariably get it and there almost no laws which Palestinians can use to assert their right to their homes or free movement. Adalah questions whether trying to use the notion of rights to protect Palestinians – who may be Israeli citizens – is effective.
The Church of Scotland played a leading role in designating Palestine as the Biblical land of Israel to which Jews must return for prophecies to be realised. It was one of its ministers who made the claim that Palestine was ‘a land without people for a people without land’ . Over 180 years after that kickstart to Christian Zionism, the Church of Scotland publishes a report – The Inheritance of Abraham? – throwing out the literal reading of ‘the land of Israel’ and putting forward its view of how Christians should regard the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli state. UPDATE: Rebuke from Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.
Every year a bureau of the US State department issues human rights reports on all countries receiving US assistance and all United Nations member states. The muted but careful language of the reports on Israel and the oPt makes their judgment of the poor respect for and enforcement of Palestinians’ rights the more shocking. The PA scores better than the Israeli occupation forces or Hamas.
This is the edited text of a rich and densely argued speech by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in which he attempts to identify the new elements produced by the Arab Spring and the unchanging principles of Hamas. He reaffirms both that Hamas accept the 1967 borders and that it does not recognise Israel, he insists all Palestinian institutions must be based on democracy but the form of a Palestinian state must follow Palestine’s liberation – the single aim of Hamas.
These are the facts that provide the evidence that Israel is a racist state – the more than 50 laws, many passed by the last Knesset, that ensure Palestinians living in Israel are second-class citizens – and a few laws that confirm the lack of rights of Palestinians in the oPt. The new settler government will build on these.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, made up of a lawyers’ and citizens’ jury, has spent four years taking evidence on the complicity of 3rd parties in the occupation. It has just completed its fifth and final session. Posted here, some of its findings and recommendations including support for BDS and the PA’s access to the ICC.
Two takes published in Ha’aretz on a conflict rocking the Zionist establishment in the UK. 1) from Hannah Weisfeld director of Yachad, a pro-peace organisation – Zionist but not Zionist enough for the Zionist Federation and 2) from Anshel Pfeffer who can’t believe that Zionism should be defined by the ‘Jerusalem programme’ which most Zionists, in Israel and out, have never heard of. So read two of its versions, 4).
Every year c. 700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained, interrogated with scant regard for their rights and none for their psychological safety. Now UNICEF has researched and published a detailed report on what happens to these young persons once they have been pulled into the Israeli system of control and punishment.
Shimon Peres came to see the EU Council President to talk about Hamas. Herman von Rompuy reminded him of the EU position on settlements and a 2-state solution. As to Peres’ demand that the ‘security’ of Israel be guaranteed, this is not a demand that can be made by, or fulfilled for, any state. Report by MEMO and von Rompuy’s statement. Note on Council v. EU Commission.
The death of Arafat Jadarat in prison, death of Ashraf Abu Thare shortly after release from prison, the hunger strikes of Samer Issawi and hundreds of others have returned the treatment of political prisoners in Israel (and the oPt), especially the use of torture, to the leading edge of political activity. Comments and reports on the use of torture in Israel, 2008-13.
All 193 member states of the UN are subject to the Universal Periodic Review of their human rights record. Only one country has ever refused to take part – Israel. At its 2008 UPR Israel undertook to address the inequalities in its society. In its submission to the UN Adalah details the outstanding inequalities of Israeli society which the UPR should examine while 15 NGOs warn of the consequences of this boycott.
These are a few excerpts from the comprehensive annual report by the ACRI. It documents the loss or denial of civil rights to Israelis especially Palestinians. Many of these are local rules (building,use of Arabic) reminiscent of the ‘Jim Crow’ laws of the federally ‘equal’ but actually segrated southern US. A new factor is the privatisation of police and judicial services which will leave Palestinians and the poor with little access to justice..
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has published its annual report on Child Statistics. We post here the PIC’s take on the report 1st, and then a mix of extracts and summaries from the whole report. Differences between the West Bank (higher poverty) and Gaza (higher parental violence) are notable. Some measures of a child’s life, such as education, show progress.
This is the text of the cease-fire agreement arrived at between Hamas and the Israeli government on November 21, 2012, under the sponsorship of the Egyptian government. UPDATES plus Gaza celebrates victory and Richard Spencer on Morsi’s status..
22 NGOs, Christian and secular, have taken up what EU institutions have flunked: a campaign to press the EC and EU members to practise their policies on the illegality of Israel’s settlements and what they produce. CAABU media release plus excerpt from the report Trading Away Peace.
If you read only the swath of news and commentary on Richard Falk’s report to the UN last week on human rights in the oPt you might think he was being arraigned as a moral pariah. Read the speech of this brave and knowledgeable man for yourself and decide why the fuss was about him as the messenger rather than the situation he analyses and documents.
The usual excuse given by the Israeli government for creating the severe deprivation of people in Gaza is ‘security’. This article by Juan Cole and report from MAP and Save the Children Fund show it is the lives and health of children in Gaza which are sacrificed for Israel’s security. The children themselves suffer from deep insecurity of food, housing and well-being.
Health, hygiene, homes, children’s education, marriage choice, — these are all services or rights without which it is very hard to be a home-based woman. Many Palestinian women have to find a way to make families and keep them well without the entitlements on which women elsewhere rely. WCLAC documents the difficulties and the costs to women’s health.
The olive harvest, principal source of income and way of life for many Palestinians, begins this week. It galvanises the IOF into checking the IDs of Palestinians returning to help with the harvest and settlers into cutting down olive trees in a drive to destroy the Palestinian economy and land ownership, And then there’s the wall, reports JK D’Amours,1st, which Israel plans to drive through the lands of Battir. The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the Wall is given 3rd.
A short definition of antisemitism is not that hard to arrive at – two are in the Notes in this posting. The controversy comes with the explanatory examples (especially if Israel is involved), and the status assigned to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency agency. Ben White looks at how some American bodies are misrepresenting the FRA’s working paper to silence pro-Palestinian voices as intrinsically antisemitic.