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Israel's Bogus Construction Moratorium

Israel's Bogus Construction Moratorium - by Stephen Lendman

Promises made, then broken. Promise peace. Wage war and daily violence throughout the Territories. Announce a settlement construction halt. Keep building, the promised pause (not a freeze) never observed despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's December 8 announced moratorium saying:

"I hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," what he relentlessly pursues, spurning resolution for an equitable, just peace, wanting surrender, not conciliation on equal terms, what he'll never agree to or accept.

Paalestine: Occupied, Divided, Isolated, Oppressed and Unaided

Palestine: Occupied, Divided, Isolated, Oppressed and Unaided - by Stephen Lendman

Imagine the following:

You're ruthlessly oppressed in an occupied country under a system of institutionalized racism, affording rights solely to Jews. You have no recognized nation, no right of citizenship, no democratic freedoms or civil liberties, including no power over your daily life.

You live in constant fear, collectively punished, politically denied, and economically strangled in a continuing cycle of violence. Military orders deny free expression and movement, enclose population centers, close borders, and impose curfews, checkpoints, roadblocks, separation walls, electric fences, dispossessions, land seizures, and domination over all aspects of life under draconian military orders like the following:

-- No. 92 giving Israel control of all West Bank and Gaza water;

Impact of Israeli Military Order No. 1650

Impact of Israeli Military Order No. 1650 - by Stephen Lendman

Located at the European University Institute (EUI), the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) conducts "inter-disciplinary and comparative research (on) major issues facing the process of integration and European society."

Prepared by Asem Khalil, its new report is titled, "Impact of Israeli Military Order No. 1650 on Palestinians' Rights to Legally Reside in Their Own Country," accessed through the following link:

http://cadmus.eui.eu/dspace/bitstream/1814/14401/1/CARIM_ASN_2010_46.pdf

Taking effect in April 2010, it defined all West Bank residents as "infiltrators" (including native born ones), requiring they get IDF-issued permits.

Gender-Based Violence in Haiti

Gender-Based Violence in Haiti - by Stephen Lendman

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) works with grassroots groups there, in America, and the Haitian Diaspora, developing effective human rights advocacy for some of the world's most oppressed, impoverished, and long-suffering people, over 500 years and counting.

In late July, it issued a new report titled, "Our Bodies Are Still Trembling: Haitian Women's Fight Against Rape," a problem Amnesty International (AI) highlighted in March saying:

Obama's Gulf Swim Was Fake

Obama's Gulf Swim Was Fake - by Stephen Lendman

On August 15, AP reported that Obama gave his "personal assurances of (the) Gulf's safety," saying:

"Beaches all along the Gulf Coast are clean, they are safe, and they are open for business."

He lied.

The same day, Britain's government owned BBC reported:

"Barack Obama has taken a swim in the Gulf of Mexico (to) reassure Americans that the waters are safe despite the recent oil spill."

US corporate media reporters repeated the message, CNN's senior White House correspondent Ed Henry among them, saying "Obama takes (the) plunge, swims in the Gulf (to show it's safe and) open for business."

In fact, area businesses continue to be severely impacted, and the entire region is dangerously unsafe.

As for Obama's swim, on August 16, the London Independent reported that Obama and his daughter, Sasha, swam in a private Panama City Beach, FL beach off Alligator Point in St. Andrew Bay, not part of the Gulf.

Universal Jurisdiction to Hold Israel Accountable

Universal Jurisdiction to Hold Israel Accountable - by Stephen Lendman

The well-established universal jurisdiction principle (UJ) holds that certain crimes are too grave to ignore, including genocide, crimes of war and against humanity.

Thus, under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won't, can't, or hasn't for any reason. Israel used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann. A US court sentenced Chuckie Taylor, son of the former Liberian president, to 97 years in prison for torture.

In March 2003, the Special Court for Sierre Leone (SCSL) indicted his father, Charles Taylor, for crimes of war and against humanity. His trial at The Hague's International Court of Justice (ICC) remains ongoing.

Gaza's Poisoned Water

Gaza's Poisoned Water - by Stephen Lendman

This article follows an August 6 one discussing Palestinians Denied Access to Water, found through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/08/palestinians-denied-access-to-wate...

It explained how Israel exploits Palestinian water resources, using most of it, forcing them to find ways to get by. Water, of course, is essential to life, rights to it natural and usufructuary. Belonging to everyone as part of the commons, it must be used, not owned or abused, an essential truth Israel corrupts.

On August 5, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) published the latest in its "Narratives Under Siege" series, titled "There's Something in the Water: The Poisoning of Life in the Gaza Strip."

From Goldstone to Uribe

From Goldstone to Uribe - by Stephen Lendman

Despite a credible start, the fix is in. Expect justice again to be denied. After the Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead), the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed Justice Richard Goldstone to lead an independent four-person fact-finding Commission to investigate human rights and humanitarian law violations committed on both sides, Israel doing everything possible to obstruct him in vain.

The Commission conducted 188 interviews, got over 300 reports, submissions and other documents, comprising more than 10,000 pages, 30 videos, and 1,200 photographs, much of it gathered first-hand. Secondary sources added corroboration, in total providing clear evidence of Israel crimes.

On September 15, 2009, the Commission concluded that:

Net Neutrality Threatened

Net Neutrality Threatened - by Stephen Lendman

This article follows two previous ones, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2009/11/struggle-for-net-neutrality.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/07/under-threat-free-and-open-interne...

Free Press.net is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for media reform through education, organizing and advocacy - Net Neutrality its defining issue, keeping it free and open, letting users access all content without restrictions, limitations, or discrimination, an online level playing field for everyone, the essence of democratic free speech. Without it, consumer choice will be lost, stolen by corporate predators, making the Internet look like cable TV, letting them decide what web sites, content and applications are available at what cost.

On August 4, New York Times writer Edward Wyatt headlined, "Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers," saying:

America's Gulf: A Toxic Crime Scene

America's Gulf: A Toxic Crime Scene - by Stephen Lendman

On August 4, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a Department of Commerce agency, reported that:

"The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed, much of which is in the process of being degraded....this is the direct result of the robust federal response efforts."

The same day at an AFL/CIO convention, Obama hailed the news, saying "the long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end."

False. From the start, the Obama administration conspired with BP, imposing censorship and cover-up, barring the public and news media from coming within 65 feet of clean-up of "booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law" without Coast Guard-authorized permission.

The Charade Begins: Netanyahu's Flotilla Massacre Probe Testimony

The Charade Begins: Netanyahu's Flotilla Massacre Probe Testimony - by Stephen Lendman

On August 9, Israel's self-appointed Turkel Commission, its planned whitewash, began hearings into the Freedom Flotilla massacre, a humanitarian mission delivering essential aid to besieged Gazans, Israeli officials blaming the victims, not themselves.

After the incident, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said organizers incited the attack. His deputy, Danny Ayalon, connected them to international terrorists, trying to smuggle in arms, bogusly claiming weapons were found on board the mother ship, the Mavi Marmara.

Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev accused the activists of "initiat(ing) the violence," insisting IDF commandos "were attacked with knives, clubs, and even live fire." Chief of Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi said soldiers were forced by violence to open fire.

Political Prisoners in America

Political Prisoners in America - by Stephen Lendman

Noted journalist HL Menchen described "The most dangerous man to any government (as someone) who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable," yet resisting, he faces recrimination - political imprisonment for his beliefs and activism, officials tolerating no opposition to their authority, no matter how extreme or lawless.

Israel Prohibiting the Right to Demonstrate

Israel Prohibiting the Right to Demonstrate - by Stephen Lendman

The 1907 Hague Convention's Article 43 and Fourth Geneva's Article 64 require that occupied territory penal laws stay in force, applicable to both occupier and occupied. However, since 1967, Israel issued over 2,500 Military Orders, controlling daily life solely for Palestinians, not settlers, the military commander having final authority over institutionalized discrimination, suppressing democratic freedoms, including free expression and right to gather peacefully to protest.

Bradley Manning: An American Hero

Bradley Manning: An American Hero - by Stephen Lendman

Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking:

-- "260,000 classified United States diplomatic cables and video of a (US) airstrike in Afghanistan that killed 97 civilians last year," and

-- an "explosive (39 minute) video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the Reuters news agency" - "collateral murder" he felt obligated to expose.

It got him in trouble. On June 7, the military in Iraq arrested him, saying:

"The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our soldiers, and our operations abroad."

Palestinians Denied Access to Water

Palestinians Denied Access to Water - by Stephen Lendman

According to OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Palestinians face a serious water crisis, being denied access to their own resources.

Cara Flowers with the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH - a coalition of almost 30 water and sanitation sector organizations in Occupied Palestine) said many vulnerable communities in Israeli-controlled Area C (covering 60% of the West Bank) are hardest hit, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) having limited say over its own resources, ones Israel uses itself, an international water expert saying:

It's "easy (making) the desert bloom by using someone else's water (and) denying them access to their fair share...." In some areas, it's easier denying them none except what they can obtain by other means or illegally.

Recent Israeli Provocations

Recent Israeli Provocations - by Stephen Lendman

Perhaps suggesting a larger-scale planned offensive, recent violent Israeli outbreaks struck Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli/Lebanon border, the first there since the summer 2006 war.

Like Cast Lead, it was Israeli aggression - violent, lawless and unrelenting, a scorched-earth blitzkrieg, inflicting vast destruction, causing billions in damage, killing over 1,000 Lebanese, injuring thousands more, and displacing around a million others (about one-fourth of the country's four million population), including over 300,000 children fleeing north for their lives. In the end, Hezbollah handed Israel a humiliating defeat. Perhaps revenge is planned.

Targeted Assassinations: Challenging US Policy

Targeted Assassinations: Challenging US Policy - by Stephen Lendman

The WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" provided documented evidence of America's out-of-control lawlessness, including Special Forces death squads (Task Force 373) extrajudicially murdering or capturing suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda figures, many hundreds or perhaps thousands on a so-called Jpel (joint prioritized effects) list, also willfully killing civilian men, women and children, the London Times Kabul-based Jerome Starkey reporting earlier on these crimes, suppressed in US media accounts, presenting an embedded view of the war, omitting the targeting of Americans until then Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair acknowledged it in February, explaining that:

CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads have been authorized to kill US citizens abroad, suspected of terrorist involvement, Blair saying:

The Repressive Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law

The Repressive Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law - by Stephen Lendman

On July 18, the Knesset again extended the "Temporary Order" as it's done annually since 2003, affecting thousands of couples, one member an Israeli citizen, the other a Palestinian resident or refugee in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran or elsewhere, denied their right to reunite legally with spouses in Israel.

A new Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-IL) position paper titled, "No civil status, no hope: A close look at the 'Humanitarian' Committee of the Citizenship Law (CL)" explains its harm, using several case study examples.

Since enacted in 2003, it's prevented thousands of couples from living normally, most unable to reunite, others residing in Israel without health insurance, work permits, or other social benefits.

The Liberal Media: Rest in Peace

The Liberal Media: Rest in Peace - by Stephen Lendman

The New York Times never qualified, run exclusively as a voice for power and privilege. The same, of course, holds for virtually all mainstream publications, including the Nation magazine, suppressing, sanitizing, and distorting truths, betraying its readers since 1865.

Its founding prospectus said it "will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred."

Today it claims "Nobody owns the Nation....We are a wholly owned subsidiary of our own conscience."

Honduran Junta Murdering Journalists

Honduran Junta Murdering Journalists - by Stephen Lendman

This article follows an earlier one titled Death Squad Terror in Honduras, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/06/death-squad-terror-in-honduras.html

Orchestrated by Washington, it discussed the June 28, 2009 coup, Honduran soldiers arresting President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, exiling him to Costa Rica, obstructing his return, committing widespread killings and human rights abuses, conducting a sham November 2009 election under martial law, installing Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo Sosa president on January 27, 2010, the Obama administration's man in Honduras, succeeding interim leader, Roberto Micheletti, using death squad terror to solidify coup d'etat rule, what most Hondurans oppose and want ended.

Palestinian Detainee Abuse During Operation Cast Lead

Palestinian Detainee Abuse during Operation Cast Lead - by Stephen Lendman

On July 6, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI) and Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel released a report titled, "Exposed: The Treatment of Palestinian Detainees During Operation Cast Lead," detailing their horrific treatment.

Transferred to Israel for interrogation, detainees related grim details of their ordeal - grave human rights violations, showing Israel's "contempt for the rule of law."

Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked

Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked - by Stephen Lendman

Daily, Israeli oppression continues - demolishing homes, dispossessing occupants, and revoking residency rights, three of its many crimes under international law, Israel spurning it with impunity.

On July 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reported mass Jordan Valley Al Farisyie village demolitions, displacing 107 people, including 52 children. Targeted were 26 residential tents, 22 animal shelters, seven taboun clay ovens, eight kitchens, 10 bathrooms, four water tanks, and an agricultural equipment shed - in all, 74 structures illegally bulldozed, family homes and belongings destroyed along with large quantities of food and animal fodder.

Many families weren't warned or present, so lost everything under rubble, Israel displacing Palestinians to make way for Judaization, area residents on their own, abandoned and unaided.

Damage Control: Downplaying WikiLeaks Revelations

Damage Control: Downplaying WikiLeaks Revelations - by Stephen Lendman

When truths are too disturbing to conceal, downplay them, change the subject, and blame others, not responsible Washington officials and key allies, culpable politicians and media misinformation masters suppressing and misreporting the facts, their well-oiled spin machine counterattacking WikiLeaks - revelations too sensitive to explain, a potential game-changer otherwise, so pundits and reporters duck them.

Above all, WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" are a powerful indictment of wars, their true face, the mindless daily slaughter and destruction too disturbing to reveal, for Julian Assange:

Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack

Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack - by Stephen Lendman

On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved formation of an international committee (like the Goldstone Commission) to probe the Flotilla attack, saying it will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, its findings to be presented in September (during the Council's three week session in Geneva) after visiting Gaza and contacting Israel, Turkey, Greece, and the Freedom Flotilla coalition.

HRC's panel includes:

-- Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;

-- Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and

-- Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.

WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries"

WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" - by Stephen Lendman

Calling itself "the intelligence agency of the people," WikiLeaks is "a multi-juristidictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive material to communicate to the public" that has a right and need to know - to then use responsibly for better government in a free and open society, absent in today's America run by warlords, criminal politicians, and corporate bosses, spurning the rule of law for their own gain.

Growing Health Crisis in the Gulf

Growing Health Crisis in the Gulf - by Stephen Lendman

The combination of millions of gallons of oil and dispersants has made large areas of the Gulf toxic and dangerous, marine toxicologist Ricki Ott saying if she lived there with children she'd leave - based on her firsthand experience after the 1989 Prince William Sound, Alaska Exxon Valdez disaster and subsequent research, documented in her books titled, "Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" and "Not One Drop - Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill."

Prospects and Consequences of Attacking Iran

Prospects and Consequences of Attacking Iran - by Stephen Lendman

Hopefully its folly will prevent it. Otherwise, expect severe repercussions, including a considerable counterattack and disruption of regional oil supplies, further impacting a troubled global economy. So why consider it, given the December 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) saying:

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; (perhaps it never had one); we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons..." True or not, dozens of nations may consider one, for defense, not offense in a hostile world, America and Israel the main aggressors, threatening humanity with their weapons of mass destruction.

The NIE also said:

Gazans Denied Medical Care Under Siege

Gazans Denied Medical Care under Siege - by Stephen Lendman

Two recent reports discuss it, a July Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-IL) one titled, "A Situation Report on Obstacles Facing Gaza Residents in Need of Medical Treatment," and a June one titled, "Who Gets to Go," jointly prepared by PHR-IL, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. All cite Israeli medical ethics and international law violations by discriminating on the basis of need, denying adequate treatment to seriously ill Gazans by:

-- preventing the restoration and development of the Strip's healthcare system; and

-- restricting travel to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, or neighboring countries for treatment.

In its July report, PHR-IL said Gaza's healthcare system is getting progressively worse "due to a lack of medical expertise, medicine(s) and medical equipment," the ICRC recently saying it's "at an all time low."

Israel's New Land Grab Master Plan

Israel's New Land Grab Master Plan - by Stephen Lendman

The new plan updates older ones, going back to the first, what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe documented in his 2006 book, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," on David Ben-Gurion's Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), his final master plan following Plans A, B and C, what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe, commemorated annually to never forget.

By bombarding and besieging villages and population centers, destroying communities, and expelling or killing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it planned an exclusive Jewish state, excluding Arabs by any means, including mass-murder, dispossession, and persecution, ongoing to this day, what Palestinians heroically resist.

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