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UN independent panel rules Israel blockade of Gaza illegal

Report to UN Human Rights Council by five independent UN rights experts contradicts findings of Palmer Report that Israel used 'unreasonable force' in 2010 raid on Gaza flotilla, but that naval-blockade of Gaza legal.

By Reuters 

   

Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a UN body said on Tuesday, disputing a conclusion reached by a separate UN probe into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Anti-Israeli Friction Helps Palestinians

  Anti-Israeli Friction Helps Palestinians - by Stephen Lendman

 

Borrowing the opening line from Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities:"

 

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...."

 

Implications of Palestinian Statehood

  Implications of Palestinian Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

 

Previous articles discussed likely Palestinian statehood and full UN membership if proper procedures are followed. 

 

They also suggested Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will belie his supportive rhetoric by betrayal at the 11th hour.

 

Palestinian Statehood: Now's the Time

  Palestinian Statehood: Now's the Time - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians worldwide want it. So do supporters and up to 140 countries. They comprise more than enough to ensure it and full de jure UN membership.

 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) can petition the General Assembly directly. It has sole admittance power, not the Security Council only able to recommend.

 

Israeli Oppression Continues While Talking Peace

  Israeli Oppression Continues While Talking Peace - by Stephen Lendman

 

No wonder Palestinians want and deserve statehood, as well as full UN membership to be able to seek World Court redress, and be able to sue under Genocide Convention provisions, and why not. 

 

Israel's lawless hypocrisy is shameless given what goes on daily - bombings, killings, mass arrests, settlement expansions, dispossessions, and other civil and human rights abuses on an ongoing basis. More on that below.

Robert Fisk asks (and answers) the "one real question" about 9/11 - Why?

Robert Fisk: For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question

Saturday, 3 September 2011

UN Report on Mavi Marmara Massacre

  UN Report on Mavi Marmara Massacre - by Stephen Lendman

 

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos willfully and maliciously interdicted Freedom Flotilla vessels in international waters, bringing humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans. 

 

In the process, they slaughtered nine Turkish nationals aboard the mother Mavi Marmara ship, wounding dozens more, and arresting everyone on board.

 

HR 2829 Targets Palestinian Statehood

  HR 2829 Targets Palestinian Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

 

Lawless extremists infest Congress like crabgrass besets lawns. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL) is one of the worst.

 

She once supported assassinating Fidel Castro, telling the Miami Herald: "If someone were to do it, I wouldn't be crying."

 

Israel's Operation Summer Seeds

  Israel's Operation Summer Seeds - by Stephen Lendman

 

Ahead of the General Assembly's likely granting Palestine statehood recognition and full de jure UN membership in September or early October, Israel is preparing its army and arming settlers for disruptive protests.

 

Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid

  Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid - by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington wages wars multiple ways, including militarily, financially, and politically by supporting wrong over right each time.

 

For decades, it subverted peace negotiations and Palestine's bid for statehood. The Obama administration's now doing it again, besides waging multiple wars and undermining freedom wherever it surfaces, abroad and at home.

Follow-Up Comments on Palestinian Statehood Vote

  Follow-Up Comments on Palestinian Statehood Vote - by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article discussed the upcoming September UN General Assembly vote, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/general-assembly-palestinian-statehood.html

 

General Assembly Palestinian Statehood Vote

  General Assembly Palestinian Statehood Vote - by Stephen Lendman

 

Earlier articles discussed it, accessed through the following links:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/palestinian-statehood-and-other.html

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/declaring-independent-palestinian-state.html

Palestinian Right of Self-Defense

  Palestinian Right of Self-Defense - by Stephen Lendman

 

Repeatedly, Israel preemptively bombs, shells, and inflicts other forms of lawless violence on Gazans, bogusly claiming self-defense. 

 

When they respond, Israel calls it terrorism, claiming justification for greater attacks in "self-defense," what international law prohibits.

 

Israeli Persecution of Palestinian Children

  Israeli Persecution of Palestinian Children - by Stephen Lendman

 

Repeatedly in many ways, the real Israel belies the myth of a free, open, democratic state. In fact, the very notion is ludicrous even to growing numbers of fed up Israelis, voting with their feet and leaving.

 

As a result, it's no exaggeration calling Israel a failed state, a topic Noam Chomsky addressed in one of his many books.

 

New York Times Opposition to Palestinian Self-Determination

  New York Times Opposition to Palestinian Self-Determination - by Stephen Lendman

 

In September, when the General Assembly meets (beginning 9/13), Palestinians will seek de jure UN membership. Unless current policy changes, it will ask for official recognition as an independent sovereign state. Currently, it has Observer State Status only, denying its right to vote.

 

Israel opposes recognition. So does Obama, both Houses of Congress, and The New York Times.

What do ‘Flotilla Folk’ do and why?

By ANN WRIGHT AND HAGIT BORER, Jerusalem Post
31/07/2011

Being, so to speak, of the “flotilla folk” ourselves, we read with some interest Rothstein and Seid’s idle speculations on who our shipmates might have been, for idle speculations they certainly are, the writers having never contacted any of us. In fact, at least when it comes to the American-flagged boat, The Audacity of Hope, we are not nearly as much of a mystery as one might imagine. Our biographies are all publicly posted at www.ustogaza.org,.

A perusal of our stories would reveal, among other things, that 58 percent of us are women and that our median age is 60.

Similar demographic patterns existed on other boats as well. Many are retired people; most with modest means. We are people willing to spend our savings to fly to Athens and stay there for weeks, doubled or tripled up in hotel rooms, waiting to sail to Gaza.

We are people who felt, who still feel, that we must make the time and find the means because struggling for justice is the moral thing to do. Because we have all come to believe, in the words of Howard Zinn, that “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” – all notions, one feels, that Rothstein and Seid view with a mixture of scorn and incredulity.

'Israelis delegitimizing themselves'

An interview with Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, from Washington
 
Israel has been successful this week in postponing, yet again, the report that shows them attacking the Gaza flotilla aid convoy which had killed eight Turkish and one US citizen.

In an interview with Press TV, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, talks about the dodgy nature of the Israeli regime.

Press TV: Twice this month and, of course, even prior to that in terms of wanting this to be postponed, what do you make of this development, first of all?

McGovern: The delay of the UN report is part and parcel of the US and Israel exerting overweening influence on what happens at the UN.

Israeli Home Demolition Terrorism

  Israeli Home Demolition Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman

 

Co-founded (with Meir Marglit) and directed by Jeff Halper, the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) "is a non-violent, direct-action organization established in 1998 to resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories."

 

New Cold Type Plus Free E-book by Ray McGovern on Gaza, And a Photo Essay Too!


 

Open "The Slow Boat to Gaza"

 

Life and Death on the Mavi Marmera

Canadian aid worker Kevin Neish was one of 581 passengers on the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel of the Gaza freedom flotilla that was attacked in international waters on May 31, 2010, while on a mission of mercy to deliver aid to residents of Gaza. Israeli commandos boarded the ship, killed nine of its passengers, arrested the others and confiscated their cameras and film-making equipment. Neish, however, hid the memory card from his camera and smuggled it to safety. In this special photo report, ColdType publishes many of the pictures for the first time, along with Neish’s story of how he managed to get the photographs away from his interrogators

Click here or on image above to download low resolution pdf

Click here to download high resolution pdf

UN Commission Flotilla Massacre Report

  UN Commission Flotilla Massacre Report - by Stephen Lendman

 

Despite irrefutable evidence, including the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) concluding last September that Israel committed serious "violations of international law, including international humanitarian law" by massacring nine Gaza Flotilla activists, injuring dozens more, in international waters, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appeased Israel by appointing his own commission.

 

Denying Palestinian Children Education

  Denying Palestinian Children Education - by Stephen Lendman

 

In July 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a new report titled, "Education Denied: Israel's Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children's Right to Education," even though it's a fundamental human right.

 

Israeli/Washington Peace Process Rejectinism

  Israeli/Washington Peace Process Rejectionism - by Stephen Lendman

 

Pretending to restart Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, Quartet representatives met in Washington on July 11. Attending were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and former UK Prime Minister/reinvented war criminal/current Middle East envoy Tony Blair.

 

Israel Terrorizing Palestinians Lawlessly

  Israel Terrorizing Palestinians Lawlessly - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians bear witness daily to Israeli state terror. Complicit Western and regional nations, in fact, condone it through silence or failure to condemn what never is tolerable and must end. 

 

For nearly a week, Israeli aircraft struck Gaza preemptively. As a result, fear of a new war grows.

 

French Boat Making Its Way to Gaza

 Dignité is outside Port Said, Egypt
 
 According to a satellite-report from Ship to Gaza Sweden's spokesman Dror Feiler the French boat Dignité / Karama is northwest of Port Said, about 20 sea miles from land. The waters are full of drilling platforms for gas. The boat is currently headed to southeast. The idea is that within a few hours go to a point just outside Egyptian territorial waters, between Port Said and El Arish, where the night will be awaited. During the next day they will put full speed towards Gaza.
 
 The ten passengers on board see themselves as representatives of the Freedom Flotilla, whose other vessels due to different manipulations - bureaucraticle obstacles, sabotage, sudden government ban, withdrawal options - forced to remain in the Greek ports.
 

Update from the Audacity of Hope

By Ann Wright

Yea, Greek activists visited the Audacity of Hope yesterday and today.  Several returned from Crete with the Greek-Swedish boat Julianno and didn't even go home, but came to see how we were faring.

Other activists who didn't realize we were still on the boat (or even where the boat was), facebooked into the early morning hours about how they could support us.

Israelis cannot make the Gaza reality disappear

I admit I overestimated the strength of Greece’s democracy. Or let me put it this way: I didn’t see how thin the varnish of what we call Israeli democracy really is.

By Henning Mankell, Haaretz

I will try to summarize this year's Gaza flotilla. Everyone knows that the goal this time was to return with more unarmed ships and a more representative selection of people and organizations. Last but not least, we would return with more MPs. We succeeded in organizing this.

French boat Dignite of Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece

The French boat "Dignité/Karama" (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla's ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.

The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left- so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.

We "Audacity of Hope" Boaters: From "High-Seas Hippies" to "Fools & Knaves"

Neocons Fume Over US Boat to Gaza

Editor Note (Consortiumnews): At the behest of Tel Aviv and Washington, Greek authorities stopped a small flotilla from sailing to Gaza in a challenge to Israel’s four-year blockade of the narrow strip of land and its 1.6 million people. Now, apologists for Israel’s right-wing Likud government are heaping scorn on the passengers, as Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

July 16, 2011

My co-passengers and I of the U.S. Boat to Gaza have now gone from “High-Seas Hippies,” according to the right-wing Washington Times, to participants in a flotilla full of “fools, knaves, hypocrites, bigots, and supporters of terrorism,” says Alan Dershowitz in his usual measured prose.

Gaza rejects Greek government charity

The following letter was delivered to the Greek Government on July 12, 2011 making it clear that the people of Gaza seek freedom and respect for their human rights, including their right to lead a dignified life, not charity. Seemingly deaf to their call, yesterday a spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Delavekouras, repeated the Greek Government's "generous offer" to deliver limited humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza - instead of helping them gain the freedom that is rightfully theirs.

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