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Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims

15 Aug

US envoy Nikki Haley has accused the UN of ‘bullying’ Israel [File: EPA]

By Ben White, Al Jazeera, 14 August 2017

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.

Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims

The UN’s repeated buckling to US and Israeli pressure stands contrary to claims of an anti-Israel bias, analysts note.

Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.

“I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time,” she said. “We are not going to let that happen any more. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”

While Haley’s words were music to Israeli leaders’ ears and echoed long-standing talking points of pro-Israel advocacy groups, analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.

According to human rights lawyer Noura Erakat, the attention given to Israel/Palestine at the UN harkens back to a particular historical moment in the 1960s and 1970s, when “national liberation movements and newly decolonised countries used the UN as a site of protest” against “imperialistic” Western politics.

While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.

In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity focused on the likes of North Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia and Libya. Sudan and South Sudan produced the most Security Council resolutions last year, with 11, while just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.

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Israeli police raid hospital, patient dies 

15 Aug

Video published by B’tselem, 13 August 2017

Police seek critically injured Palestinian at al-Makassed hospital, try to seize his bed

On 21 July ‘17, dozens of Israeli police raided al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem seeking to arrest a critically injured Palestinian. B’Tselem found that armed officers entered various wards. Officers tried to seize the man’s bed on the way to surgery and pushed medical staff and persons protecting him. The man died meanwhile. Such violent, life-endangering conduct cannot be justified. The police can use other means, without harming staff or patients or violating the convention that medical staff and clinics are a safe haven.

Israeli tanks, bulldozers, invade & uproot Gaza farms

14 Aug

IMEMC News, Gaza, 14 August 2017

At least three Israeli army tanks, and three armored military bulldozers, invaded on Monday morning, Palestinian agricultural lands, fired live rounds and bulldozed large sections close to the border fence, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the bulldozers uprooted farmlands and created sand hills near the border fence.
It added that the army also fired several live rounds during the invasion, to keep the Palestinians out of their lands.
The invasion is part of ongoing Israeli violations targeting the Palestinians, their lands and property, in addition to attacking fishing boats in Palestinian waters, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Can you imagine life like this?

14 Aug


VIDEO: Institute for Middle East Understanding, 19 July 2017

Israeli bombs. Israeli drones. Israeli-imposed power cuts. And no way to leave. Everyday life in Gaza is shaped by Israeli policy, which has turned the coastal enclave into a maximum security prison where the inmates are fathers, mothers and children whose only crime is being born in Gaza. Can you imagine life like this?


The Wall of Insanity

14 Aug

Cranes work on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza, July 23, 2017.  [Eliyahu Hershkovitz]

By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 13 August 2017

Opinion: The Wall of Insanity 

Israel has opted for another wall, this time around Gaza. Israel will pay for it

The next time a cap gun is fired or a toy balloon is launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, the army will start building a steel dome over the Strip to prevent it. The ceiling will also cut off the territory from the sky. After all, we’re talking about national security. When the first crack forms, and another balloon is launched or cap gun fired, the defense establishment will proceed to the next phase: flooding the Gaza Strip with water until it is completely submerged. After all, we’re talking about Israeli security.

Until that happens — the plans have already been drawn up — the modest, hard-up Israeli army is making do with smaller measures: It’s building a new “barrier” around the Strip, the father of all the fences and the mother of all the walls with which Israel is surrounding itself, six meters high and reaching tens of meters underground. Israel is becoming a state with a wall at its heart: There’s nothing it likes more than to surround itself.

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The Cluster-Bomb Nation

12 Aug

A cluster bomb used by Israel in Lebanon is marked by red painting on the Lebanon-Israeli border road near the southern Lebanese village of Naqura, Thursday, August 31, 2006. AP

By Gideon Levy, Opinion, Haaretz (Israeli Daily newspaper), 10 August 2017

The Cluster-Bomb Nation

The cluster bombs are aimed mainly at densely populated areas. There they can kill most effectively. That’s why the Israeli army wants them.

Israel wants to kill as many innocent people as possible. Under no circumstances does it want to belong to the community of enlightened nations. There is no other way to understand Gili Cohen’s chilling report (Monday’s Haaretz) that the defense establishment decided to prefer an Israeli-made cannon that has yet to be completed to a German one, merely to sidestep the international ban on cluster bombs.

More than 100 states signed the international treaty banning the use of cluster bombs; Israel, as usual, isn’t one of them. What has Israel to do with international treaties, international law, international organizations – it’s all one big unnecessary nuisance. Israel’s fellow rejectionists are, as usual, Russia, Pakistan, China, India and of course the United States, the world’s greatest spiller of blood since World War II. This is the company Israel wants to keep, the club it belongs to.

Cluster bombs are an especially barbarous weapon, a bomb that turns into countless bomblets, spreading over a wide area, killing and wounding indiscriminately. They sometimes explode years after were fired. The world was appalled and disgusted by such a weapon of mass destruction, and for good reason. The world – but not Israel. We’re a special case, as is commonly known. We’re allowed to do anything. Why? Because we can.

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Israeli navy detains two Palestinian fishermen 

11 Aug

Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem, 11August 2017. 

Israeli navy detains two Palestinian fishermen of the northern coast of Gaza

Israeli naval forces on Friday morning detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to local sources.

The Palestinian Fishermen Union said in a statement that the Israeli navy detained brothers Saddam and Udayy Abd al-Bari al-Sultan.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called “buffer zone” — on the Gaza side of the Israeli-Gaza border — as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.

The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave.

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